Monday, 15 May 2017

The Red Tent by Anita Diamant



This is one of those books that I have been meaning to read for some time. It has been languishing on my kindle for months,but after the  news that a television mini series would be shown here in the U.K.   I dragged it to the top of my To Be Read pile. To my shame I have to admit I watched  the Tv show first!

However a novelisation of the life of Dinah, known to Christians as the sister of Joseph (He of the dream coat) and daughter of Jacob was just too intriguing to only allow the screen to tell her story. She is a victim of rape and a forced marriage in the Bible and the reason for a massacre  that creates the fissures in the family that leads to Joseph's exile into Egypt but here in this story reveals a worthy heroine.

This is not a bible story, this is a life story imagined in a world where the Patriarchal WORD OF GOD lives in harmony with ancient goddesses of fertility and fecundity. The lunar cycle and the power of women are showcased under the fabric of a tent where women hold court,are honest and unfettered in their speech and opinion.

It is a story of sibling jealousies of a motherhood shared amongst sister-wives and the joys and heartbreaks of  childbirth . Dinah is strong woman who always forges her own path and this was a really enjoyable reimagining of a woman who was merely a side note. Her story is entwined with but mainly runs parallel to that of Jacob and his sons and for my part is just as interesting.

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