September 22, 2012

The Red Tent

For one of my book clubs (I'm now in two) we read The Red Tent, by Anita Diamant. The novel is historical fiction, based on the rape of Dinah from the Book of Genesis. I'll be honest, my Bible-knowledge is not what it should be. I was familiar with the story of Dinah, but about halfway through The Red Tent, I went back to my Bible to read the historical account. I appreciated the way Diamant took one page of text and filled an entire book, staying true to both the culture of the times and the original telling of the rape of Dinah.

That said, you don't have to be a Biblical scholar, or even a follower of the Judeo-Christian faith to enjoy this book. At its core, it's the story of a young girl as she comes of age and learns from her mothers and her sisters about the ways of the world and what it means to become a woman at a time when women were treated as a lower class. Initially, I thought the book may be a bit dry, but it was richly woven with anecdotes told from the first-person perspective of Dinah.

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