The Red tent by Anita Diamant

About the book

Her name is Dinah. In the Bible, her life is only hinted at in a brief and violent detour within the more familiar chapters of the Book of Genesis that are about her father, Jacob, and his dozen sons. Told in Dinah’s voice, this novel reveals the traditions and turmoils of ancient womanhood–the world of the red tent. It begins with the story of her mothers–Leah, Rachel, Zilpah, and Bilhah–the four wives of Jacob. They love Dinah and give her gifts that sustain her through a hard-working youth, a calling to midwifery, and a new home in a foreign land. Dinah’s story reaches out from a remarkable period of early history and creates an intimate connection with the past. Deeply affecting, The Red Tent combines rich storytelling with a valuable achievement in modern fiction: a new view of biblical women’s society.

Reviewed by Waterlooville Reading Group:

We found it an interesting and enjoyable read but wouldn’t read it again. One reader thought it rather Mills and Boon-ish!

Star rating: ***

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10 thoughts on “The Red tent by Anita Diamant”

  1. Review by Blackwater Valley U3A Reading Group:
    We all agreed that this was absorbing, informative, interesting book. We could not put it down and hope that she writes another one. Probably not a book that would be enjoyed by men.
    Star rating: ****


  2. Review by U3A Petersfield Group 6:
    An interesting historical novel which became predictable with little characterisation and over emphasis on the fundamentals of life. Scant reasons were given for the dramatic twists with an overall lack of conviction. A tendency to be tedious at times.
    Star rating: **


  3. Review by Eastleigh Library Wednesday Group :
    Good read but rather lurid, savage and blood thirsty. Interesting account of a community of women living together under hard times and of folklore.
    Star rating: ***


  4. Review by Bridewell Beauties Reading Group:
    It had vivid descriptions of the way of life in the ‘camps’. The strong friendship amongst the women during childbirth. It was fascinating in the details throughout the book. Life comes over as very hard and brutal.
    Star rating: ***


  5. Review by Cambridge Reading Group:
    All but one of us thoroughly enjoyed this book. We were gripped by the story but also absorbed by the way the author made the setting and details so vivid. The characters were realistic and we were fascinated by the lives of these women. We referred to Genesis to read the source again.
    Star rating: ****


  6. Review by Fawley/Holbury U3A:
    Most of us really liked this and could relate to the biblical background. We liked the story and the characters and felt the book told an interesting story. Very well researched.
    Star rating: ***


  7. Review by Sentinel Book Club
    “A book I would not have selected, but so glad the Book Club did!” Really different from my normal genre – the idea and reality of a Red Tent was popular amongst ouf female readership. The extended family ‘takes a village to raise a child’ had much agreement.
    Star rating: ****


  8. Review by Sway Literary Society
    Half of our group disliked the book and the other half really enjoyed it. Very interesting view of womens lives several thousand years ago. The American spellings jarred.
    Rating: ***


  9. Review by Women Who Read
    We really liked the fact that this was giving a strong women’s perspective and realistic seeming historical detail. The Red Tent Women’s support groups seem to have developed through this book.
    **-*** 2 to 3 stars


  10. Review by Everton Reading Group
    A well written narrative and well researched; this book widened the horizons and yet would not have been chosen by individuals in the library.
    Star rating: ** to ***


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