The Red Tent


The Red Tent by Anita Diamant - book cover

The Red Tent (Mature Teen)
By Anita Diamant


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.

Genre: Historical Fiction, Biblical Fiction, Familial Issues, Romance

Why this is a Good Book For Teenage Girls

The Red Tent is a good book for teenage girls because Dinah is brought up by a group of strong and devoted women who instill confidence and worth in their daughter in a culture and family setting that puts male before female. Dinah defines her own identity in the face of extreme adversity. This is an excellent book for teen girls who love historical fiction, girl bonding, life struggle, and romance.


About the Author

Anita Diamant is an award-winning journalist and author of six books about contemporary Jewish life, including The New Jewish Wedding and Choosing a Jewish Life. Her works of fiction include Good Harbor and The Last Days of Dogtown. She lives in Massachusetts.





From Library Journal

Skillfully interweaving biblical tales with events and characters of her own invention, Diamant's (Living a Jewish Life, HarperCollins, 1991) sweeping first novel re-creates the life of Dinah, daughter of Leah and Jacob, from her birth and happy childhood in Mesopotamia through her years in Canaan and death in Egypt. When Dinah reaches puberty and enters the Red Tent (the place women visit to give birth or have their monthly periods), her mother and Jacob's three other wives initiate her into the religious and sexual practices of the tribe. Diamant sympathetically describes Dinah's doomed relationship with Shalem, son of a ruler of Shechem, and his brutal death at the hands of her brothers. Following the events in Canaan, a pregnant Dinah travels to Egypt, where she becomes a noted midwife. Diamant has written a thoroughly enjoyable and illuminating portrait of a fascinating woman and the life she might have lived. Recommended for all public libraries.
Nancy Pearl, Washington Ctr. for the Book, Seattle
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.