Book Reviews of The Red Tent

The Red Tent
The Red Tent
Author: Anita Diamant
ISBN-13: 9780330487962
ISBN-10: 0330487965
Publication Date: 3/8/2002
Pages: 336
Edition: New Ed
Rating:
  • Currently 4.2/5 Stars.
 19

4.2 stars, based on 19 ratings
Publisher: Pan
Book Type: Paperback
Reviews: Amazon | Write a Review

541 Book Reviews submitted by our Members...sorted by voted most helpful

reviewed The Red Tent on + 373 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 32
Diamant takes a minor character from the Bible and spins off into an illustrious story of unexpected and misinterpreted passion. In addition to following Dinah's journey through womanhood and beyond, the reader gets acquainted with other, more familiar biblical characters, who jump into life with their own personalities and problems.

It will be difficult for me to separate the Bible story of Rachel and Leah now from this story because of Diamant's vivid writing and the way she made the characters come to life. This is one of the few books that made me cry.
reviewed The Red Tent on + 22 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 31
definitely inthe top three of all time for me. So incredibly well told, and a great balance to the male dominated stories of the bible. Don't we always wonder what the other half was thinking? If you loved this one, try The Twentieth Wife and The Feast of Roses--they are about Indian history and telling the female side.
reviewed The Red Tent on + 3 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 31
This is probably my favorite book. I am not a religous person by any means, but as a young woman... this book moved me on a whole other level. Its beautiful, thoughful, human, and real. LOVE IT.
reviewed The Red Tent on + 134 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 22
Normally I do not particularly like either "wimmen's books" or biblical themes, but I found myself pleasantly surprised by this one. In many ways, I think it would have been a stronger book without drawing on the specific biblical characters as the historical context and storytelling aspects of the book were almost diminished by the familiarity of the tale. Still, the characters were beautifully drawn, the book well written, the setting falls from the page and surrounds the reader. Recommended.
reviewed The Red Tent on + 133 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 18
One of the best books I'v read in a long time. It made me cry both tears of sadness and tears of happiness. No other book I've read has been able to do that. The rituals that took place in regards to the red tent were beautiful. What a way to worship and love bieng a woman. And the story of Dinah was wonderful.
reviewed The Red Tent on
Helpful Score: 14
One of the few books to make me cry in a very long time. It's the fascinating, deeply moving imagination of the life of Dinah, a Biblical character barely mentioned in Genesis in the context of her father Jacob and her twelve brothers. It says a lot about sisterhood, matriarchal ties and endurance. I would highly recommend it to anybody, especially women.
reviewed The Red Tent on
Helpful Score: 9
I would agree that this book really draws you in and is an addictive read. But I would agree with one other reviewer that it is not completely biblically accurate. For those that this would be of importance is why I mention it. There were some aspects, ideas of the author that I could let go for the sake of fiction, but the bible is VERY specific that Joseph did NOT seduce nor sleep with Pontiphar's wife, but Diamant writes the opposite. Also... the bible never says that Dinah was a willing participant and in love with Shechem, my bible says..."...he took her and raped her..." Gen 34:2 NLT. Diamant protrays a young girl who was in love and denied that relationships by her egotistical and violent brothers.

Sorry to be such a downer because many love the book so much and I enjoyed it as well, but it's worth noting for those who think they are picking up a fiction but also biblically accurate book... You're not.
reviewed The Red Tent on
Helpful Score: 9
I began reading this for a book club read. Its a very compelling read. While it is a fiction novel, I felt that the author took too many liberaties. Clearly opposing the Biblical facts. "From a Biblical standpoint - it is full of falsehoods and Biblical contradictions." For someone that is not familiar with the story of Jacob and Rachel and their lives, this would total confuse them. It truely misrepresents and contradicts the true story... Because of this, I did not finish the book and would not recommend it.
reviewed The Red Tent on
Helpful Score: 8
This book was TERRIBLE! For something that is supposed to have a religious theme, it was offensively sexually explicit. Very disappointing! Beware if you are looking for a clean book to read!
reviewed The Red Tent on
Helpful Score: 7
I recommend skipping this if you are a Bible-believing Christian. Diamant invents a lot of motives and extra stuff that make heroes of the faith (like Joseph) out to be manipulative, negative characters. I know he was human, but she goes over the line.
reviewed The Red Tent on + 76 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 7
This is an Old Testament story where the author has filled in "in between the lines". Especially entertaining if you are familiar with the Bible version. If not, it is a wonderful way to learn about the ways of some ancient people from an often lost viewpoint, the women.
reviewed The Red Tent on + 104 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 7
I loved this book! It was recommended to me by a friend and honestly, I could not put it down. I loved the relationships the various women in the book shared. It brought to life the fact, that the women in the Bible did have a life, feelings and a story. It has made my Bible reading come alive, as I look for the women hidden in the scriptures. Some are barely mentioned at all. It made me cry too.

I hadn't read novels in many years, but this book started me on an obsession of reading Biblical fiction. I love it now!
reviewed The Red Tent on + 33 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 7
I love biblical fiction. The problem with the Red Tent is that it is not biblically or historically accurate. I highly recommend Francine River's Lineage of Grace series, which highlights biblical women like Tamar and Rahab. I trust the author, Francine Rivers, who has done her research.
reviewed The Red Tent on + 215 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 6
This was an excellent book. Whether you're a religious person or not, you'll get drawn into the power of the story. Told from the point of view of a minor Biblical figure, it's incredibly believable and great to read. As someone who isn't religious at all, and pretty much only knows Biblical stories from when they are made into major movies, I certainly didn't expect to enjoy this book the way I did. But, the story is great, and the characters are very well written. There were people I wanted to hit at times, times I wanted to cry, and many times I felt very sorry for the role of women and girls back then. It's definitely a great book that I'd recommend to anyone.
reviewed The Red Tent on + 21 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 6
One of my all time favorites. Beautifully written, the story pulls you into this facinating world of biblical times.
reviewed The Red Tent on + 4 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 5
i love historical fiction but this book could have had a content rating. for me there was a little too much detail when i came to the sex scenes. just a warning to anyone who maybe sensitive to that sort of thing.
reviewed The Red Tent on + 2 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 5
Oh where to begin? From the first page you get absorbed into the story and the characters and the setting and... well, you get the idea. I rarely reread books, but I've read this twice and will probably 'order' this book again through PBS when I need my fix!
reviewed The Red Tent on + 87 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 5
This a very well-written and interesting book. I could hardly put it down. I seem to remember I read it in like 2 or 3 days!
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Helpful Score: 5
I was enticed by the story of Dinah, only daughter of Jacob. The story is very compelling, but this is a work of fiction and must be treated as that.

I was disappointed at the many inaccuracies regarding the Biblical account. All the details of the Biblical account are included in the story line, but many are either modified, or recounted as fantasy, gossip or directly false. I personally didn't like that. It wasn't necessary to create a great book. (for example, seven years of waiting for Rachel become seven months, Dinah is happily married instead of being raped and rejected afterward, Joseph has an affair with Potiphar's wife instead of running from her to do God's will).

Also God is pretty much out of the picture. There are brief mentions of sacrifices to El, and a lot of idolatry and mix of family gods and the like, but it doesn't appear to be a story about God and about God's people even though it is from the Bible.

With those exceptions, I think the Red Tent is a very interesting view of the time of Jacob and his family, pure fiction though.
reviewed The Red Tent on + 2 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 5
I bought this book for my mom several years ago as a gift...she never read it, so I left it off my list of books to read- boy what a mistake!!! From the minute I started it I was entranced by the story and its characters. I cried at the end and then went back into the book to reread many parts of it; it was so beautifully written. I can't wait for my two daughters to read it and now I will make certain that my mom reads it too.
reviewed The Red Tent on + 3 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 5
The Red Tent is the story of Dinah, a minor character in Old Testament scripture, who, in the Bible was supposedly raped and her brothers consequently killed the man and the rest of the men of his village. After that tragedy, Dinah is never heard from again (in the Bible). The Red Tent addresses this story from Dinah's point of view and she becomes a fully fleshed out character, along with her 4 "mothers".

Besides just a great story, I really appreciated how it took something that is usually an inconvenience to most women. It turned it into something special, treasured, and a time to celebrate being a woman, to "fellowship" if you will with other women... and ultimately feel powerful in our womanly resolve, instincts, and strength.
reviewed The Red Tent on + 200 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 4
This was a very good book. I did find it difficult to read however. It was rather explicit about the intimate relationships and midwives procedures. It is slanted in the opposite direction of the Bible story in my opinion.
reviewed The Red Tent on
Helpful Score: 4
When I was given this book to read with the description of it being a story about the women of the bible I was really turned off. I am not a religious person at all and get turned off when something become even remotely religious. I almost didn't read the book.
I am so glad I did. It was a rich story about Dinah, the only daughter among many brothers, and her life from childhood until death. Even though there was reference to events that I know are in the bible (Abraham sacrificing his son)and characters you might know from the bible, this book is not in any way religious.
reviewed The Red Tent on + 43 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 4
The Red Tent is one of those novel's that I have had numerous people tell me is wonderful and that I just HAVE to read. I remember my cousin reading it after it first came out and just loving it; I've wanted to read it for years but have just never done it. Almost in a way because I was scared it wouldn't live up to the hype or what my expectations of it had been built up to, but it really did for the most part.

The Red Tent tells the story of Dinah, Jacob and Leah's daughter. (Jacob, the son of Issac who was the son of Abraham.) It follows Dinah's story and that of her "mothers" (Jacobs wives) from Jacob's entry into Labon's nomadic dwelling through his marriages to Rachel and Leah, and through them their concubines, into the births of their children, then segwaying into Dinah's childhood, entry into adulthood, and the story of her life. The language that Diamant uses in the novel to describe the camaraderie between the women made me as a reader feel as if I could see what she was describing and feel as if I was actually there, in addition I thought that this author gave a realistic portrayal and strengthened the image of the role women played in ancient times. Women are not mentioned a lot in Biblical manuscripts because the authors were men and women were considered to be little more than property.

I liked the way Dinah's story was taken, I thought it was a realistic portrayal of what could have happened; In addition the way each of the mothers was described in the ways they interacted and in how their personalities differed made this a story that was very easy to relate to, because you could've been reading about women in a room together today; the surroundings and objects might be different but the emotions and having to work to be able to live in peace is something women have to work on in every generation. The only thing I did not relate to in this book was how Joseph was portrayed, as far as his personality, and other traits other than that I would recommend this book it was a wonderful read!
reviewed The Red Tent on + 157 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 4
Well written and rich development of characters that carried me thru the first half of the book. Started noticing in the second half that even the men that held some respect were going downhill fast as far as characters go, and by the end I couldn't but wonder if the author hated men in general. I especially was less entitled to give the author the benefit of the doubt when she started tearing into my favorite story of the Old Testament- Joseph. The book begins with a historic feel and rich detail, then seems to erode into something of a diatribe. I enjoyed the first half but a book has to end better than it began for me to recommend it, and this one didn't. So I really can't.
reviewed The Red Tent on + 113 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 4
I REALLY tried with this one. I got through about half of it. I wore out the front page with the family tree because of the flipping back and forth to remind myself who (out of the dozens of cousins/wives/sisters) is who. This got old however, and I had no desire to finish. You get the idea halfway through. I'm sure this is an unpopular review, but I read for entertainment only and don't want to have to read like I am studying!
reviewed The Red Tent on + 102 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 4
This was a very memorable book, I loved it. Interesting subject matter. It tells about some of the women in the Bible from their point of view. Fiction, not a Bible companion.
reviewed The Red Tent on + 38 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 4
A friend suggested I read it and asked my opinion, so I did, and here it is: I am torn. It is a good, engaging read. If you take it as a work of pure fiction where real people's names and geneologies where used, it is good. If you look at the Biblical stories, the author takes many liberties and is downright offensive in her liberties, clearly opposing the Biblical facts. Parts of the book made me downright angry when she did this.
Overall, it's a good read and a thoughtful look into the lives of women during that period of history.
From a Biblical standpoint - it is full of falsehoods and Biblical contradictions.
reviewed The Red Tent on + 291 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 4
Wow! What can I say that hasn't already been said?! Not sure whether this qualifies as Biblical fiction or historical fiction or possibly Christian fiction? Regardless, this book is an excellent novel about a minor Old Testament character, Dinah, daughter of Jacob and Leah. It begins with the introduction of Jacob to the family of Leah, Rachel, and co. and follows the birth of Jacob's sons and finally, Dinah. From Dinah's birth, the story continues throughout her life.

This book languished on my TBR pile for the longest time because I didn't think it would interest me...boy was I wrong! This book is a wonderful read.
reviewed The Red Tent on + 64 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 4
I did not like this book. I think it took the characters of the Bible and made them disgusting, sad people. It was too graphic. I had to stop reading it.
reviewed The Red Tent on + 10 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 4
This book is well written, but is in no way Biblically accurate. Again, a good book, just don't trust it as truth.
reviewed The Red Tent on + 57 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 4
I enjoyed this book so much, I wrote to the author and thanked her. She was kind enough to write back. This is one of those books I'll never forget. I will keep one copy of my own, and buy others for friends.
reviewed The Red Tent on + 53 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 4
This book was the chosen selection for my book club and I was pleased it was chosen because I'd been wanting to read it for a while. I know this book is considered an absolute classic by many so I delved into it as soon as I received the book. I have to admit that I had a hard time getting into it and it took me far longer to read than most books do. While it carried my interest, it didn't leave me wanting to know more. After getting about halfway through the book I called my friend up and asked, "Is there a plot to this book? Is something going to happen? Will there be some excitement coming up?". She assured me that there would be and I'm glad I stayed on with the book because I found the last 100 pages enjoyable and found myself in tears by the end of the book. In the end it was a satisfying read but it took me a long time to get there.

I think part of the issue with why I didn't quite connect to the book as easily as others is that I'm not very familiar with the Bible and the characters were, for the most part, new to me. I would imagine that if you have read the Bible you would be familiar with the women of the Bible, the Red Tent would take on a deeper meaning for you. I give it 3 out of 5 stars.
reviewed The Red Tent on + 3 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
This is a great novel for the both the faith-filled and faith-less. I believe women of all walks of life will relate to the characters in this story - Jacob's wives. Although this is fiction, it does present probably the most historically accurate view so far of the women in Jacob's life. I only wish they would make this into a movie!
reviewed The Red Tent on + 2 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
Very well-written and a compelling read, but borders on religious blasphemy for people of faith. Contains elements of misoandry, which I found disturbing.
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Helpful Score: 3
This book war recommended by a friend. As the Author stated this is a "work of fiction, and a radical departure from the historical text". I did find a few things offensive at the beginning such as masturbation and shepherds having sex with the sheep. I keep trudging on. It made me want to return to the Bible to see what it said happened. Some of the authors fictional renderings were brilliant interpretations of what the Bible stated. Yes, it will move you, it might offend you but it will bring you back to ask you what is your belief about these things.
reviewed The Red Tent on + 17 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
I absolutely loved this book! It was my first piece of biblical fiction. I liked it because every time I read in my bible the story of Jacob and his wives and of Dinah....I LONGED FOR MORE! This book delivers on that longing. Though its a work of fiction, Diamant is an authority on Jewish culture and you can trust the mannerisms and customs mentioned in the book are accurate. Its one of the few books i reread a few years after first reading it.
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Helpful Score: 3
This was such an awesome book! It is the story of the women in the bible, and is expressed in a way that flows. There were several times I had to reread the chapter just to make sure I really read what I read. I started it around 8:30 p.m. to relax and ended up putting it down when the book was finished around 2:30 a.m.!
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Helpful Score: 3
I love historial fiction as a genre. I especially prefer Biblical historical fiction, especially about women. This is a wonderful story, with far more detail than you might expect about the prevailing belief systems of the times. The inevitable conflict between the women's beliefs and those of the men made me so very sad. I found the book engrossing and enjoyed it very much.
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Helpful Score: 3
Amazing book! It was recommended to me by a friend who had read it in a book group. I have now added it to my permeant collection. The characters get tricky. I found myself looking at the front page "family tree" often to sort out the relations between the women.
reviewed The Red Tent on + 7 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
If you liked books such as Gone with the Wind and Thornbirds, you will also love The Red Tent. This is a wonderful generational book that explores the relationships of women at the time of the Bible. My mom and I loved it!
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Helpful Score: 3
The Red Tent was an engrossing tale of a girl's life during biblical times. This story was so richly spoken, that I felt immersed in Dinah's life. It was as if I was there too. Every emotion she felt, I felt. Everything she experienced, the good and the bad, I experienced. This book was deeply moving and will remain with me for some time. I highly recommend it for every woman to read.
reviewed The Red Tent on + 10 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
This book was incredibly good. Although fiction, it takes you into the life of Dinah and fills in the big chinks you find in the Bible when it comes to the stories about women. It is an adventure, a romance and a life journey. I would highly recommend reading this book.
reviewed The Red Tent on + 137 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
I did not like this book from the very beginning. I felt like it was sacreligious just reading it and felt almost guilty with every page. But I was determined to finish it so that I wouldn't always wonder if it got better. It did get some better, but my disappointment remains. It was not at all what I thought it would be.
reviewed The Red Tent on + 160 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
I was really impressed with this book! It tells the story of Dinah, a woman briefly mentioned in the Bible as being the daughter of Jacob, who was raped and her brothers avenge her by killing that man and all the men from his city. Jacob is well known person from the Bible, as are many of his sons, but only that little bit is mentioned about his daughter. I love how this book gives Dinah (and consequently other women from the Bible) a clear personality and identity. Jacob's wives are given clear personalities and identities as well (some are better noted in the Bible than others). I feel that this book tried to present the life of women during biblical times as accurately as possible, showing their common bonds through various stages of life (childbirth and child-rearing, menstruation periods spent in the Red Tent, death, etc). Dinah is painted as being strong-willed and intelligent, though bound by the societal norms of the time. I honestly can't say enough about it & I fear saying too much in fear of spoiling in, so just go read it! :-)
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Helpful Score: 3
After much anticipation due to all the excitement [and hype] I have heard surrounding this book, I was, to say the least, disappointed. The Red Tent is an interesting read if taken as a purely fictional novel. I do stress this point because if you are expecting a fictionalized biblical account of the story you will be sorely disappointed. It is biblical only in the most basic of outlines, but many of the important points of the story surrounding this biblical family are so full of grossly inaccuracies that they border on or are completely heresy. I can understand fictionalizing sections of the story that are not expounded on in the Bible, but to take biblical accounts and totally change them in the ways this author has is very disconcerting. One example is Jacobs night of wrestling with the angel of the Lord. This is clear in the Bible- Jacob needed an something from the Lord, some blessing and assurance as he was going to meet his brother who had vowed to kill him twenty years before. He wrestled with the Angel of the Lord and would not let him go until He blessed him. In this book is makes it sound as if he was attacked and beaten senseless, unconscious and nearly dead while the Bible recounts how that Jacob spoke with the angel of the Lord and then walked back across the Penuel and back to his camp. Jacob is described in the book as a week cowardly, disoriented feeble person although the Bible says the Lord changed his name to Israel, because for as a prince hast thou power with God and with men, and hast prevailed. He received Gods blessing and a new name and was a changed man. Another example is in the recounting of Josephs situation at Potiphars house in Egypt. The author says that Potiphars wife and Joseph were having an affair and that Potiphar actually walked in on them in the sex act and so Joseph was stripped of his position and thrown into prison. Of course, this is completely contrary to the biblical account And it came to pass after these things, that his masters wife cast her eyes upon Joseph; and she said, Lie with me. But he refused, and said unto his masters wife, Behold, my master wotteth not what is with me in the house, and he hath committed all that he hath to my hand; There is none greater in this house than I; neither hath he kept back any thing from me but thee, because thou art his wife: how then can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God? And it came to pass, as she spake to Joseph day by day, that he hearkened NOT unto her, to lie by her, or to be with her. There is virtually almost no mention at all of the Biblical or Jewish God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, but mostly filled with idolatry in every form. I could not reconcile this book with the reality of the Bible, even to read it as a fictional account. If you read this as just a novel with nothing to do with the Bible or Bible characters, then it is an okay read, but otherwise, I would strongly NOT recommend it.
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Helpful Score: 3
In the vein of "The Mists of Avalon" and "Wicked" the author takes a somewhat familiar story and turns it on its ear by giving readers a different point-of-view. At times violent, sensual, and provocative, this book is a page-turner for those who enjoy fine detail and character development. I recommend this book to any who are familiar with, or who want to know, what the wives of the patriarchs of major world religions might have been like when there were no men around. Not just for women...this is a tale of great scope, great love, and the desire to live on into eternity.
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Helpful Score: 3
Not at all what I expected. Way toooo much sex involved. Felt very sacrireligious and disrespectful to me. It's one thing to read embarrasing stories about fictional characters. It is a completely different story to read such filth about one's ancestors.
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Helpful Score: 3
Fascinating! Love the historical detail, drama, and story of womanhood.
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Helpful Score: 3
I thought this book was a very good read. The first half of the book was more interesting as it described the lives of women from biblical times. It also gave us a look at how women treated mentruastion before the age of sanitary napkins and tampons. The next time I have my period I want to go hang out in a red tent for three days and let the rest of my family fend for themselves! Diamant is an excellent writer. My favorite line from the book: "Of all life's pleasures, only love owes no debt to death". What a beautiful sentiment.
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Helpful Score: 2
One of my all time favorites and when someone asks, the first book I recommend.
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Helpful Score: 2
I had a hard time posting this one because it's such an increidble book that I wanted to hang on to it. It presents the Biblical story of Rachel and Leah in an interesting and historical atmosphere. If you're looking for Christian perspective- this is NOT it. It shows them from a pagan background before being introduced to the God of Jacob.
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Helpful Score: 2
Very interesting illumination of a Biblical story. Fleshes out the characters and gives a better perspective of the culture, landscape, personalities and motivations. Also very poetic and satisfying writing.
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Helpful Score: 2
Well written and enthralling. Most of the details about birth ring true, however if you want an accounting that holds true to Bible text and simply fills in details no one has you will be disappointed, many details from Biblical accounts have been changed.
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Helpful Score: 2
With the first words: We have been lost to each other for so long. My name means nothing to you. My memory is dust. This is not your fault, or mine. The chain connecting mother to daughter was broken and the word passed to the keeping of men, who had no way of knowing. That is why I became a footnote, my story a brief detour between the well-known history of my father, Jacob, and the celebrated chronicle of Joseph, my brother... I was hooked on this wonderful book, The Red Tent.

From the back cover: Her name is Dinah. In the bible, her life is only hinted at in a brief and violent detour within the more familiar chapters about her father...and his dozen sons in the Book of Genesis. Told in Dinah's voice, this novel reveals the traditions and turmoil of ancient womanhoodthe world of the red tent.

I've read so many books in my life, so very many, it seems, since joining PBS. So many took my breath away at the end, or moved me to such emotion that I had to pause before actually finishing the story. Others caused me to weep as if the story contained within the covers had actually been real and I knew the people personally.

The Red Tent will always now be one of my favorite books. From those first words, the effect of speaking directly to me, sharing a life, never wavered. But oh, those last two pages were perhaps the most beautiful I've ever read when taken in context with the whole story.
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Helpful Score: 2
This is the story of Dinah, the daughter of Jacob and Leah in the Bible. History tells us very little of Dinah and the author uses this freedom to weave a powerful and beautifully written story of a woman's life in ancient society.

Dinah grows up surrounded by women who love her - her mother, aunts and the other women of Jacob's family. As a female, she can go to the red tent and here she learns the traditions, superstitions and the harsh realities of what it means to be a woman in this culture. There are many different women from the Bible that Dinah encounters in her lifetime and these characters are all vividly and skillfully drawn.

Dinahs life is not all easy, but she becomes a strong, independent woman that knows great joys, horrific sorrows and even journeys to a foreign land. I highly recommend this book which will completely immerse you in this early culture.
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Helpful Score: 2
A well-written story but NOT true to the Old Testament.
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Helpful Score: 2
This was an interesting book. It certainly had some similaritties to the biblical story, but can easily be seen as a work of fiction. Deals greatly with sex and womanhood, it was interesting, not sure if I would read it again if given the chance, but nonetheless it was interesting.
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Helpful Score: 2
This is a moving, lyrical work about a little known woman from the book of Genesis. Diamant brings Dinah to life in this wonderful book.
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Helpful Score: 2
This is a very interesting fictional tale of Dinah, daughter of the Biblical Jacob and Leah. The story is told by Dinah, who is voiceless in the book of Genesis. The history of the time is very intriguing and does make you wonder just what was Dinah's life like, being raised by four mothers in a world dominated by men. There is much action and adventure as Dinah tells her story of life in and out of the Red Tent. I thoroughly enjoyed the story and believe you will as well. Just keep in my that it is fictional account of a Biblical story.
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Helpful Score: 2
It was a quick read. I agree with some of the other readers about it being a little too descriptive on the intimate details and it did sway from the biblical story. It was not a favorite but it was not bad
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Helpful Score: 2
This book takes old testament bible characters and bible facts and creates a beautiful work. I enjoyed this story tremendously. I did a few momemnts of research and read about the main character in the bible first. ( I'm sorry I don't remember the exact verse) This is a wonderful book for a book club. Enjoy!
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Helpful Score: 2
A good story envelopes you, transports you to another realm, and leaves you changed. The Red Tent does exactly this, just as the red tent--a retreat during the menstrual flow--offered its women respite and sisterly support. Anita Diamant transforms a passive mention of Dinah in Genesis 34 into a rich, poignant and powerful fictional autobiography of Jacob's only daughter. Starting with the four sisters who became Jacob's wives, this story develops in a different world, where the feminine was still considered sacred and strong women abounded. It suspended my modern notions of feminism and gender relations as it followed Dinah's life trajectory, from child to bride to mother to midwife, even though there are many coincidences along the way. Women, reading The Red Tent will connect you to your sisters in history. Men and children, you're warned that there's a lot of birthing, blood, and sex. But it's vivid, wonderfully told story that I wholeheartedly recommend.
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The red tent is the place where women gathered during their cycles of birthing, menses, and even illness. Like the conversations and mysteries held within this feminine tent, this sweeping piece of fiction offers an insider's look at the daily life of a biblical sorority of mothers and wives and their one and only daughter, Dinah. Told in the voice of Jacob's daughter Dinah (who only received a glimpse of recognition in the Book of Genesis), we are privy to the fascinating feminine characters who bled within the red tent. In a confiding and poetic voice, Dinah whispers stories of her four mothers, Rachel, Leah, Zilpah, and Bilhah--all wives to Jacob, and each one embodying unique feminine traits. As she reveals these sensual and emotionally charged stories we learn of birthing miracles, slaves, artisans, household gods, and sisterhood secrets. Eventually Dinah delves into her own saga of betrayals, grief, and a call to midwifery.

"Like any sisters who live together and share a husband, my mother and aunties spun a sticky web of loyalties and grudges," Anita Diamant writes in the voice of Dinah. "They traded secrets like bracelets, and these were handed down to me the only surviving girl. They told me things I was too young to hear. They held my face between their hands and made me swear to remember." Remembering women's earthy stories and passionate history is indeed the theme of this magnificent book. In fact, it's been said that The Red Tent is what the Bible might have been had it been written by God's daughters, instead of her sons.
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I enjoyed this and became involved with the characters. Very different than the biblical telling. I always wanted to know more about Dinah and this presents an interesting picture.

Recommended
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The Red Tent combines rich story telling with a valuable achievement in modern fiction: a new view of biblical women's society.
It begins with the story of the narrator's mothers, Leah, Rachel, Zilpah and Bilhah, the 4 wives of Jacob. It tells about the traditions and turmoil of early womanhood, the world of the Red Tent.
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This is a great story, and it is very well written. I like when I find a writer that can keep me motivated and interested. Anita Diamant tells the story of Dinah in a way that flows without using too many flowery adjectives and long sentences. It is a great read for anyone that has read the Bible and is familiar with the some of the women of Old Testament. This book got me interested in reading about Esther as well. However, knowledge of the Bible is not necessary to enjoy this story told by a very skilled writer.
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L.
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Remembering women's earthy stories and passionate history is indeed the theme of this magnificent book. In fact, it's been
said that The Red Tent is what the Bible might have been had it been written by God's daughters, instead of her sons. --

The focus is on the hopes, the dreams, the work, the struggles and the relationships of these women. These kinswomen have
a deep bond and strong love for each other, but also are quite competitive and even treacherous toward one another at times.
And, they have very little true authority over their own lives.

The writing is quite good and the story very interesting. Although this history is so far removed from modern times, it is
easy to relate to Dinah and her mothers. They have the same dreams for love, success and happiness that we still have today,
albeit with different ideals of each. I found myself identifying in some part with most of the women in this book. Their
strength, their disappointments, their joys are all familiar.

I think we learn so much by reading stories and relating to the characters in however small a way that may be. I highly
recommend this book to anyone wanting to explore female kinship and friendship.
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I came very close to not requesting this book due to the way the jacket reads. I'm spiritual, not religious and I thought it would be a biblical retelling and therefor unexciting. I can not express how happy I am that this was not the case!

This book's timeline falls in between the era of Goddess worship and the beginnings of Christianity, exploring the traditions of both. It's an amazing story of not just one woman's life but of the women who made her the person she became. Romance, jealousy, a mother's unconditional love, hatred, slavery, murder, redemption. It's all here wrapped in enchanted script. The beginning may be a little slow but never boring and once the wedding begins (somewhere around the third chapter)the book sky rockets, never looking back.

This book kept me up late into the night and made its way into my daily life taking up lunch times and sneaking into the gym, made me burn dinner, and caused my phone's voice mail to overload. I give it 5 stars!
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I absolutely loved this book. The author describes each character and their surroundings with beautiful words. Great read.
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Could not put this book down; is now one of my favorites. The personal and spiritual feminine connection it protrays between the familial woman of the book is eloquent, heartwarming and deeply moving. It did show the men of the story in a negative light but all in all the book was awesome! Highly recommend it!
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A very unbiblical made up account of the story of Dinah. Terrible book. If you love the Word of God and want to stay true to Scripture then this is not the book for you!
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This is a work of fiction based on the biblical story of Jacob, and his wives and family. It is told from the perspective of his and Leah's daughter, Dinah, who is only briefly mentioned in the Bible. It is a beautifully written story that draws the reader in with well-developed characters who seem to come to life for those who know the story from the Bible, although prior knowledge of the story isn't necessary to enjoy the book. My favorite type of book is one that leaves me wanting more when I've read the last page - "The Red Tent" definitely does that.
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The only thing I hated about this book was that it ended.

The Red Tent is a novel of biblical times (and of the customs of those times), detailing the imagined lives of Rachel and Leah, two wives of Jacob (both true biblical figures) and, subsequently, the imagined story of Dinah, the daughter of Leah, also a true biblical figure. The "red tent" of the title refers to the tent the women of the tribe remain in while experiencing their "time of the month" or while giving birth.
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I'm disappointed - the attitudes of the men and women in this book do not mirror the biblical story much. The Bible is specific about some of the details that are incorrectly attributed or ignored, like the amount of time that Jacob worked for Laban in order to marry Rachel. The constant prayers and references to gods and goddesses other than Jehovah God, and various other perversions are things I don't enjoy reading. I realize this is fiction, and yes, the story-telling of the author is rich. But, I couldn't stand it, and I've decided to read something else.
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Wonderful book!! A woman's perspective on early times as written in the book of Genesis. The story of Jacob and his family.
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This was a good book though not always accurate with the biblical facts. It was fun to read.
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EXCELLENT BOOK!! Difficult to put down. It is about women during biblical times - sometimes they had to spend time in the "red tent." This is how they all got along and grew up together. Recommend to any woman who enjoys reading about daily life during those times, and some men who might like to see life from a woman's point of view.
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Wow- a very interesting book. I got lost in the story telling and the relationships between the women. I highly recommend this one.
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I really enjoyed this tale of ancient midwifery and sisterhood. The author adds a fine touch to detail and character developement.
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This was a wonderful read! I slowed down as I neared the finish so I could prolong the reading. She is a very visual writer. Great story.
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Wonderfully inspiring story for women.
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A book club favorite - you'll find so many things to discuss in this beautifully written, intriguing novel.
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I was had been looking forward to reading this book for months, but I stopped on page 11 after reading a phrase where Diamant leaves the story and talks directly to the reader writing, "If you believe that, you might also be interested in purchasing a magical toad that will make all who look upon you swoon with love."

I read a lot of books, some literary and some candy. If a writer is so blah, so unimaginative to fall back on that cliche I don't want any part of it. Not when there are so many funny, quirky, well-written books to read in this world.
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One of my favorite books of all time. I love the unity of women in the story.
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First recommended and given to me by my daughter, I have sent copies of this book to several people as gifts. The tale is poignant, sad and believable. One of my friends was so excited, "Now I have my own copy!" May you join those who read and love this story as much as I did.
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I love this book so much that I went out and bought a copy to keep. I cant say enough about the book. I have read it three times and I still enjoy the story.I love hearing about what the women went through in biblical times.I found the story very fascinating.I highly recommend it.
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I thought this book was very interesting. It tells the story of Dinah (from the Bible) from Dinah's point of view. Lots of interesting ideas and a very good read.
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She does a marvelous job of bringing the women of the Bible to life. We usually hear about the men, as women were background to the main events, and this provides a real feel for those times, the environment in which the events occurred, and the travails of the characters and their coping mechanisms. Really a good read--it flew by!!!
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This is a wonderful, touching book.
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Incredible. A heartwrenching story that expands on an overlooked character from the Bible.
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Thought this was a terrific book. Enjoyed the story and the characters. If you enjoy the mix true history with fiction woven in, you would enjoy this book!
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Interesting book about a time in history I knew little about. A little slow at first, it does grab you as the story develops.
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My sister recommended this book to me over a year ago but as I'm not an overly religious person, I hesitated reading it. However, I ran across it at a garage sale and thought what the heck. And I must say I was quite pleasantly surprised! It was not a book of religous overtures, as I thought it would be, but the story of one girl's journey through life. Although it's a work of fiction, the storyline and characters are so real, it's easy to get caught up in the story and become transported in time. I highly recommend this book to everyone -- even those of us who may not have a strong faith base.
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This is one of my all time favorite books!
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This is one of many fiction books that I've read based off facts from the bible. The facts are very accurate and the story-line is very intriguing; hard to put it down.
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This well-researched novel paints a vivid picture of life in the Middle East during Biblical times. Following the life of a minor Biblical character, Dinah, Diamant goes far beyond the few brief verses that mention her and creates a fully-fleshed-out character.

I particularly liked how the author presents customs and mores that differ greatly from those of modern Western society without any attempt at justification or sensationalism, instead focusing on the common threads of humanity that bind all societies...
There was an awful lot of graphic childbearing for my personal taste - but the main character is a midwife - and women's lives at that time in history DID revolve pretty strongly around children - so it's understandable (just not appealing!) Also, the author definitely makes an attempt to be evenhanded - a woman who does NOT want children makes an appearance. Although life in Canaan and Egypt is shown to be harsh, violent and difficult and women are not always treated justly by men, there are also men who are fair and caring. (not always the case in many femini-centric historical works)

I was really afraid this book would be annoyingly religious - but it's not at all. The author really strives to be accurate in her portrayal of the religions and customs of the time, without overt critique.
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Simply the best book I have ever read! Very moving!
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I loved this book!
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This book is not at all what I expected. I was hoping for a Christian-oriented tale but got something else entirely. I read through the first couple of chapters and ran into a very graphic scene. I was also opposed by the fact the author referred to God with a little g. I'm sure it's probably a good story but had too many reversations for me to enjoy. I didn't finish it because of the content.
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This book started out slow. I don't know what I expected...but as I read on I grew to really enjoy the entire story. Now I am curious to go back to the Bible to see how it compares.
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I absolutely loved this book. The descriptions and story line drew me into the story. The story presented was done well enought to make one think that it could be quite plausible. I highly recommend this book.
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I've read this book twice, It is one of those books you need to dedicate long expanses of time to. You can't read it for 5 minutes at a time. There are a lot of characters to keep track of, but there is a family tree included to use as a reference.
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I will always love this book. After a time, I reread the book and I enjoyed it all the more! I would definitely read it again sometime.
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Best book ever. LOVED IT...LOVED IT !
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This unusual book captivated me. Although it started out slowly, it was engaging throughout. It reminded me of the Archangel series because it was not set in today's world, although it is set in Biblical times, with characters whose names and situations are familiar to us in the Old Testament. The story haunts the reader, and will not be easily forgotten.
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The author took part of the Old Testament and developed it into a story. I felt it could be a good opening to interest young girls in the Bible. Story was well developed.
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Interesting book. The beginning was a bit hard to follow ~ many names that I was not familiar with and hard to keep track of who was who's mother. After reading the book a bit, the story took on a life of it's own. Once the book focused more on Dinah's life, it became a book I couldn't put down. Fascinating story.
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I did not enjoy this book. I found it to be irreverent and graphic. The author has great skill in creating characters with personality. However, she took liberties with this story that seemed crass and inappropriate. Overall the book was unbelievable and too sensual for my taste.
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A wonderfully fresh retelling of the Biblical story of Jacob and his family as told from a woman's point of view. I don't know how much of Diamant's interpretation was fueled by research into ancient civilizations or how much was from imagination, but it was an inspiring story and it made me go back and read Genesis with new eyes!
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Story Overview

My name means nothing to you. My memory is dust.

This is not your fault, or mine. The chain connecting mother to daughter was broken and the word passed to the keeping of men, who had no way of knowing. That is why I became a footnote, my story a brief detour between the well-known history of my father, Jacob, and the celebrated chronicle of Joseph, my brother. On those rare occasions when I was remembered, it was as a victim. Near the beginning of your holy book, there is a passage that seems to say I was raped and continues with the bloody tale of how my honor was avenged.

It's a wonder that any mother ever called a daughter Dinah again. But some did. Maybe you guessed that there was more to me than the voiceless cipher in the text. Maybe you heard it in the music of my name: the first vowel high and clear, as when a mother calls to her child at dusk; the second sound soft, for whispering secrets on pillows. Dee-nah.

So begins the The Red Tent -- the fictionalized story of Dinah (whose only mention in the Bible is in Genesis 34). Anita Diamant imagines an entire life for Dinah -- from her birth as the only daughter of Jacob to her life as a woman in the ancient world of the Old Testament.

From her childhood among her four "mothers" -- Leah, Rachel, Zilpah and Bilhah (each were married to Jacob and doted on Dinah as the only girl born among the four women) to the private world of the red tent (where menstruating women gather during "that" time), Dinah's story provides an insider's view of what it was like to be a woman in biblical times -- including the hazards and politics of sharing a husband. Eventually, the family leaves the land where Dinah was born and to travels to Canaan so that Jacob can reconcile with his brother Esau. It is here where the story of Dinah in the Bible takes place. Her "rape" triggers the slaughter of an entire town by some of her brothers -- leading to the family's disbanding. Although she doesn't appear again in the Bible, Diamant's story has her fleeing her family and moving to Egypt, where she lives out her life as a midwife -- eventually finding happiness and peace with her family's history.

My Thoughts

I read this book as part of my Summer Vacation Reading Challenge. I chose it because I've had this book for years and never read it (thought it would be boring but had gotten it based on my mother's repeated recommendations). Plus I thought it would be interesting to travel to another time and place. I'm so glad I finally broke down and read it because this book was anything but boring. In fact, it was downright fascinating. I love that Diamant had the courage to take a minor figure in the Bible and imagine an entire life for her. At the end of my book, there is a short reading guide in which Diamant talks about some of the choices she made for the book. I think it is worth quoting:

Aiding her [Diamant's] work was "midrash," the ancient and still vital literary form, which means "search" or "investigation."

"Historically, the rabbis used this highly imaginative form of storytelling to make sense of the elliptical nature of the Bible -- to explain, for example, why Cain killed Abel. The compressed stories and images in the Bible are rather like photographs. They don't tell us everything we want or need to know. Midrash is the story about what happened before and after the photographic flash."

She points out that "The Red Tent is not a translation but a work of fiction, its perspective and focus -- by and about the female characters -- distinguishes it from the biblical account in which women are usually peripheral and often totally silent. By giving Dinah a voice and by providing texture and content to the sketchy biblical description, my books is a radical departure from the historical text."

I think Diamant did a brilliant job of imagining an entire life for Dinah while still working in the biblical story that many are familiar with. (Sadly, it has been years since I've read the Bible and I mostly remembered the story of her brother Joseph from the musical Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. My old CCD teachers must be proud!!!) Actually, I was surprised how many names and stories did jog my memory. If nothing else, I wanted to read Genesis over again to fill in the gaps of my knowledge (and I plan on doing so).

The book has a definite feminist slant to it. In Diamant's story, the women are kept on the sidelines but manage to exert their will by well-placed whispers, hints and using their feminine wiles. But make no mistake, this was a man's world and a woman had to be smart and strong to survive. The red tent is where the woman's society hums and buzzes -- where they celebrate being a woman, make plans and build community. In a time when many women shared a husband, it was critical to work out these relationships. And in a time when childbirth could be incredibly dangerous, women might need to rely on their "sisters" to raise their children or save their lives.

Diamant chose to make Dinah a midwife, which I think was a fruitful (pun intended!) choice. Imagine living in the ancient world and facing childbirth without a sterile hospital, trained physician or medicine? The stories of the various births throughout the book were both horrifying and fascinating. Dinah and her fellow midwives use a variety of herbs, massages, songs and common-sense techniques to get women through births of all kinds. It made me wonder if any of these techniques are still in use today.

Another thing I liked about this book was the whole "red tent" business. For Dinah and her fellow women, this was a time of togetherness, rest and celebration -- not a solitary almost shameful thing like it is today. I thought that was kind of nice. However, the actual concept of having that "time of the month" on a bed of straw for three days is rather unappealing when viewed through my modern eyes. In fact, it started me thinking about how bad I would have it if I lived "back then." (In fact, I probably wouldn't have survived anyway because I was a "breech" baby and that kind of birth was usually fatal to both child and mother.) But suppose I had lived. With my bad eyes, I would have barely been able to see anything clearly. And no air conditioning and living in the desert? And having to grow my own food and make my own clothes? And being a bit of property to either my husband or father to be married off or even sold if needed? Nothing like a little view of how our sisters in the past had it to make you appreciate the conveniences of modern life a little more!

In short, The Red Tent is a thought-provoking read that brings to life an entire "hidden" world of the women of the Bible. Diamant has a poetic writing style that suits the material well, and there is a sense of mysticism throughout the book that lends it an almost fanciful, mystical feel at times. Yet the book is firmly rooted in the real world as well -- the hot, dusty world of women who lived in an ancient time and who didn't really have a voice of their own. How lovely of Anita Diamant to come along and give a voice to Dinah -- to help us modern beings learn and think more about those who came before us and the struggles and hardships they faced -- as well as their joys and triumphs.

My Final Recommendation

I would highly recommend this book as it is thought-provoking, well-written and offers a fully imagined glimpse into what it might have been like to be a woman in Biblical times. Don't make the mistake I did at first and think the subject matter might be dry, boring and staid. I think you'd be surprised at how bawdy (yes, bawdy!), earthy and graphic the lives of these ancient women are. But if the topic of menstruation and other womanly things gives you pause, this might not be the best book for you. Also, if the idea of an author reimagining Biblical stories gets your blood pressure up, this might not be a good choice for you either.
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Amazing, amazing story. The author weaves the tale of the biblical wives of Jacob through his only daughter, Dinah. You get to see the world 2,000 years ago through her eyes, and it is so well-written that you feel like you are there, in the red tent. It's so beautifully done, I can't say enough good things about it. One needn't be religious or indeed even very familiar with bible stories in order to enjoy it and take something from it. I've read it several times (and I'm not in the habit of reading books more than once) and won't part with it. In fact, I'm on my second copy as I lent out the first one and never got it back. Fascinating, and a must-read.
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This book was fantastic. I am familiar with the story of Jacob, his wives, and all of his sons from the bible, but it was fascinating to read a story that took a more in-depth look at that family. I loved learning about the time period and their culture. I enjoyed following Dinah throughout her life, and I was truly wrapped up in the characters' lives. Diamant is an excellent writer, and it is obivious she did a lot of research for this novel.
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AWESOME. It makes you happy to be a woman!
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Beautiful weaving of a story that gives us the background behind the women in the Bible (well, some of them). The language is gorgeous, and although the story gets a little too new-age woo-woo for me towards the end, it's a terrific read. A very feel-good book, especially for women.
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Fantastic read. Read this at bookclub and everyone loved it.
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The Bible has multiple stories of Jacob and his sons, but his daughter Dinah has only a brief mention of her rape at the hands of Shalem. In The Red Tent, we read the story of Dinah and her mothers lives.

The story starts with Dinah as a young girl who is spoiled by her mothers plural because Jacob has four wives and she considers each of them a mother. Her closest bond is with Rachel, Jacobs son Josephs mother. It takes us through her marriage to Shalem, the birth of her son and her life after her son is grown.

I found the view of life as a woman in the time of Jacob to be fascinating. Ms Diamont does an excellent job of weaving the story of Dinahs life and what it was like to be a woman living in the biblical age.

I will say that I was a bit disappointed with how the story ended.
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I was not expecting to like this book at all when my book club chose it. It turned out to be a fantastic book and one of our best discussions yet! I've discovered that I really enjoy books that take known events and give you another perspective. Whether you like or dislike each character, Anita Diamant brings out a reaction in the reader!
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I LOVE this book! I try reading the bible, but get lost. With a story like this it helps me understand the era and way of thinking more -- therefore, I feel like I understand the blble a little better.
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An interesting look at women in the bible. Great read!
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Fantastic book! I could not put it down!
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A fantastic novel about woman's roles in biblical society. I learned so much and felt much more connected to my body after reading this!
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Excellent read! Wonderful story full of history.
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This a must read book, great writing and characters, you will find it hard to put it down. I was afraid that it was going to be all Bibleish but its not. Will pass it on to friends.
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I started this book but never finished it, after being greatly bothered by the biblical discrepancies in this book. It's one thing for the author to "fill in the gaps" and provide a work of fiction based on biblical fact, but it's a whole other deal for the author to change biblical fact to fit her work of fiction. Dangerous!
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If you are looking to learn more about the women of the Bible in a less "documentary" form - this is a great book!
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The Red Tent was a good book...a lot better than I expected when I first began reading it. It starts off slowly, and for me, learning all the strange names was a little tedious, but by the middle of the book I was well and truly hooked, and enjoyed it to the end. I hope you enjoy it, also!
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Fabulous! Gave it to my very conservative mom when I had finished it, and she loved it as well.
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I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Yes you may get offended, but read on. It's really a brilliant concept to write fictionally about missing pieces in the Bible. And yes Anita Diamant also takes carte blanche when she alters some of the history you may have been taught. In doing so, Diamat not only empowers herself, but she empowers the females in her novel as well.
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Very loosely based on a book in the Bible, this is the story of a minor character named Dinah. She may have been insignificant-seeming in the Bible but she has quite the story to tell in this novel. This is in my top 5 favorite all-time reads for sure. Rated 5/5
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One of my all time favorite books! I HIGHLY recommend it!! Great read! Loved it!
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In my opinion, it helps to have a background in Christian lore. The story would have had more meaning if I knew who the characters were. As it was, I got bogged down in the names.
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This book was "assigned" as the first book in my book club several years ago. I read the back of the book and was not all that excited about it.

I was completely wrong. This was a fascinating story about a Biblical character I knew nothing about. It is "historical fiction," I suppose. It reads like a novel, not a Bible book. It is one I couldn't put down.

This was our first book in the club and still the one we talk about the most. It covered so many areas of our lives. It is still the book that fostered the best book club discussion.

This is on my list of top three books.

Read it. You won't be disappointed.
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Good book about a familiar character in the Bible but not from the perspective you are used to. Great historical research and story development.
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phenomenal. i thought it was extremely interesting that it was written from Dinah's point of view. who knows how much of it was true? it was a great read though.
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This book is riveting, You won't put it down. What a great look into the life of a Hebrew girl. All the celebration these women did for themselves in their hard lives was done in the RED TENT.
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Wonderful book. It really grabs you from the first page.
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Ever wondered how women lived before in door plumbing and Tamons? I really enjoyed this book.
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Totally engrossing and mesmerising,I loved this book. Pass it around to all the women you love.
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I really liked this book! Have passed it along and women of all ages respond to it and like it.
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Enjoyed this book.

I read this book YEARS AGO and I still remember the women. I'm not much into religious theme books - but this read more historical in nature and focused on the characters - the women. Something different.
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Historical fiction. Interesting. Not Biblical except in characters and major events.
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Excellent book of historical fiction. A real eye opener as to what life might have been like in Biblical times. An exceptional book about friendships & family and the special bonds among women. Made me wish for my own set of sisters in a Red Tent.
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An incredible book! I felt I was there in the red tent with the other women!!
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Dinah is only briefly mentioned in the Bible. This is an account of Dinah, offstpring of Jacob and Leah and the fictionalized story that winds around her life. It's one of my favorite books.
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This is probably one of the very best books I've ever read. My daughter read it after me and loved it every bit as much. We just couldn't put it down. It was educational and deeply moving.
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This book was absolutely incredible! One of the best books I have ever read to date. The Red Tent book is the best biblical fiction book I have yet to read. A must read! :)
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This book is easy to read, flows evenly and I finished it within three days. It's an interesting story built from the basis of a few bible verses. Not quite the way the stories are told in the bible--but still a fascinating look into what life what must have been (could have been)like for women during the time of Jacob, Leah and Rachel. An easy read.
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This is my favorite book ever! I have read it three times and recommend it to anyone who loves historical ficition. You feel as if you are right there! Fabulously written!
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Spun from the four wives of Jacob in the Bible, Dinah is one of the daughters. The story is told in her voice. The novel reveals the traditions and turmoil of ancient womanhood - the world of the red tent.

Read it for our co-ed book club and the guys all said that they were glad that they had read it and would never have thought of reading it before.
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This may be my favorite book of all time. It's beautifully written in the cadence of ancient Egypt and Canaan. This book made me feel connected to all women- especially the ones that came before me in my family. A definite must read.
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I did NOT enjoy this book. It was recommended to me after I finished a bible study of the patriarchs. I thought it would be interesting to hear a story about the women. I wasn't going into it expecting much of anything, just a good read. I thought it was boring and drawn out. I kept having to put it down and going back to it a few days later and trying to read more till I just quit and took it back to the library.
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This book was fabulous. Diamant did a great job of giving Biblical women voices and personalities. I couldn't put this book down!
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Modern retelling of OT stories from the woman's point of view. Fascinating.
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wonderful book
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Awesome historical fiction that makes you see the Old Testament in a whole new light. Highly recommend. This is one of my favorite books!
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One of my favorite books ever. I read this for a book club several year ago and I still think about it and would even read it again. Love the historical facets of the book, and the women's lives together.
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One of the best books I've read in a long time. The story of Dinah was wonderful. It made me cry both tears of sadness and tears of happiness. The rituals that took place in "The Red Tent" were beautiful. Strong writing by Anita Diamant.
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This is by far the most well written book I have read. I can't believe I never thought about how most of the stories in the Bible and how they were from a man's perspective.
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Awesome awesome book that i kept seeing showcased at the library and never picked up...until recently on a whim after my aunt commented on it. What and awessome read! Superstition, theology, ritual included.
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This book made me want to read the bible and that in itself is a miracle. Did the book inspire a great religious awakening? No. I wanted to read and compare the way the story of Dinah was written in the bible to this book.

The story of sisterhood among the women really spoke to my heart and soul and made me want to spend time with my sisters and mother and it is a book I'll read again. The next time I read it I will take notes on the plants mentioned and their uses. I may keep this book on my shelf and not pass it on.

The writing flows nicely without a lot of flowery phrases. Just a good basic story without unnecessary fluff and it held my interest from beginning to end.
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I liked learning about the cultures and it is a good read. You have to recognize it as a fictionalized account that has a totally different explanation than the Bible of events.
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This book was very strange. I felt much compassion for some characters, such as Dinah and Leah, and much hatred toward others, such as Jacob and his sons. I also felt nearly sacreligious reading this fictionalization, because I consider myself to be somewhat of a religious person. I guess the bottom line is, if the character names had been changed and not been Biblical, I might have enjoyed this story more. It was a good book in most ways, just probably not something for those of us who view the Bible as the True Word.
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The story of Dinah is captivating. I read it in a single day. The Bible story is portrayed with real people with real problems and trials. I laughed, I cried and felt the story in a way that I never did before. Diamant makes the distant past real.
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Like a Marion Zimmer Bradly work, this interesting story of Dinah from the Bible is told in a context of its times. A good, engaging read.
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Very smooth read; opens your eyes to what happened to woman back in the day and in some cases to this day.

Not super religious so it by no means a Christian book so don't be pushed away by that.

It's about growing up and finding ones self and learning and growing within yourself as the world changes as well. There are challenges to over come and the knowledge of things better than what one has been taught from youth.
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The Red Tent made the Bible characters come alive and seem like real people, with flaws and imperfections, and overall I liked the story. It was interesting how the author wove in Dinah's character. We know she was present in the Biblical account, but she was not mentioned except for one little place. It was interesting to think about how she may have interacted with her family and how women in general were treated. But I wasn't fond of the treatment the author gave to some of the characters. For example, I don't like how Joseph was portrayed near the end of the story. The way Joseph described his brothers coming for food during the famine seemed very inaccurate, and how he went to see his father Isaac and his attitude towards him when he was dying...very strange portrayal. I thought I would like this book more than I did. I was somewhat disappointed.
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Fantastic, well-written book! I really enjoyed slipping into a long ago, far away world. Perceptions seemed quite authentic to the time period, I felt. This book will stay with you long after you put it down!
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Interesting idea - I wasn't crazy about how far it strayed from what Scripture teaches.
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I enjoyed reading this book very much, it was insightful into times that aren't usually thought about.
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This book is amazing. It completely swallowed me up when I read it. I felt every happiness and pain of the main character. It was beautifully written and when I finished it I felt like I had just experienced something extraordinary. I didn't want to talk or move around a lot because I was afraid to break the spell. Only a few books have given me that feeling. I highly recommend it.
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This was such a tragic, yet well written book, and it gave me a chance to really consider what life may have been like in the biblical times. Not to mention the whole new perspective it gave me on the story of Joseph. What a different view from "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat," let me tell you. No happy, Joseph Mega-Mix songs at the end of this story. It's good to hear stories of women told as they are, without trying to sugar-coat it or hide the truth of pain and life and love. It's hard to imagine someone surviving so many losses and so much tragedy, but then, everyone has their own losses, just usually not as horrible as that. I could not believe the horror of the sons of Jacob - even though I knew that Joseph would eventually be sold into slavery. It still amazes me that people could do such terrible things to other human beings. ::sigh:: Anyway, it's a very good book, albeit a tad depressing, and you should definitely read it - though I think my copy will be a keeper.
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Awesome book. I knew the women back then had it rough, but this really opened my eyes to the trials and tribulations they went through, as well as the amazing connection the women shared. Highly recommended book!
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This novel is relates the story of Dinah, a woman of the Book of Genesis. The book is full of ancient tradition and complicated family relationships.
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deep, provoking, dark- great novel about biblical times
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This book was wonderful. Meet Dinah, a small blurb in the bible. The author takes her entire life and lays it before our very eyes. I loved her as a character...and really enjoyed learning about the culture of that time. This book is keeper for me.
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I found this book completely fascinating, which was particularly gratifying because while I consider myself spiritual, I am not, in any way, a religious person. In fact I find most organized religions rather repellent, but theology from a historical perspective or non-preaching fictionalized standpoint, can be really fascinating, and this certainly fills the bill.

I was not aware of the vague reference to the character of Dinah in the bible, and its suggestion of violence in her life, so I didn't come to the table with any background, curiosity, or knowledge about this character. Even so I found myself riveted by her story, that of her family, how groups lived in this time period, how they functioned, how they loved.

This book was also one of those page turners that you just keep reading, late at night, when your head nods off in bed and you jerk your eyes back open again and check to see where you left off on the page. It's one of those books I also sneaked into my office in my purse and when no one was looking, I read a few pages, under my desk.
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I really enjoyed the first part of this book. It detailed how women connected with women in female ways. It stood strong and was beautifully written. However, as it continued with exploring women from the Bible, it seemed to make each and every male in the story into a weirdo or monster. It felt as tho being female must make a person anti-male. I was particularly annoyed at how the story of Joseph was handled. It felt like an insult. So the second half of the book went downhill really fast. I'm aware of the horrible inequality women have lived with in various cultures, having experienced it for myself. But this book felt like a blanket condemnation of the other half of the human race. Diamont has great writing skills but in my opinion, she used them only half as well as she could have.
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Interesting fictional account on the biblical times and life of Dinah and her family. I admit it was difficult at first, I had to keep referring to the family tree in the front of the book (I'm a visual person!), but once the characters were fleshed out in my head, I could follow Dinah's very interesting and sometimes heart-breaking story. No spoilers here, but I will say that her story at times moved me to tears, and I was happy for her towards the end of the book. So give the book a chance, learn something about how life may have been like in Biblical times, understanding that people did things a certain way because of family tradition and obligation, and in the process, you can read an amazing story of strength and survival. In the end, I loved this book.
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When it comes to gernerational novels I tend to get bored with them. That didn't happen when I read this book. It is a good story about a woman's life who lived during the time of Jesus. It is well researched and put together. I think every woman should read it.
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A beautifuly written story about the women of the old testament.A fabulous book!
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This book was so beautifully written. I read it in one night, I couldn't stop. I woke up craving bread and honey, and was happy to be a mother, a wife, and overall a woman. There's something about this book that just captures you, no review can ever explain what feelings this book brings out in you. I'm so happy to have come across this book. It will be one I will read over and over again throughout the years.
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One of my favorite books of all time.
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Absolutely LOVE this book. The story is rich with relationships among women. Completely captured my attention. An amazing book that I didn't want to end.
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This was a beautifully written book! Definitely one of the best books I've read in the past couple of years. I was drawn into the life of Dinah and her friends and family and felt that I knew them personally. I would recommend this book!
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I really enjoyed this book. Once again I was taken back in time. Dinah is a beautiful girl. Such a tragic love loss though.
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I have this book and will keep it forever - it was just amazing! I absolutely loved it.
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Having gone to Catholic school for 12 years, I found this story interesting...I loved how she developed the strength of the female characters and made stories much more realisitic than the way they are portrayed in the bible (though the book is fiction)
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This book was a quick read and quite good. I loved reading books about the perspectives of women in biblical times, and Dinah's story (as imagined by Diamant) was beautifully written and told. I think anyone interested in women's points of view in past times would enjoy this book.
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I loved this book. It kinda reminded me of Memoirs of a Geisha and the Kite Runner, in that you get to really know the culture and where these people come from. These type of books bring me back to the time period of the book and I really enjoy learning about their lives etc. Next on my list is a Thousand Splendid Suns (if I ever move up on the wish list, LOL). I will definitely recommend this book!
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Definitely one of my favourite books, right up there with The Secret Life of Bees and Confessions of a Pagan Nun. It was wonderful and thought-provoking, humbling and affirming, satisfying and question-raising. i've already re-read several portions of it, connecting dots and refreshing my overloaded memory. i know that this is a book i will love to read over and over again.
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This book really put life into perspective for me. What a great tribute to women and the struggles women endure!
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This book fleshes out the glossed over story of Dinah. I always wanted to know more about the women in the Bible and here it tells with honesty,wisdom and compassion a beautifully written story to touch the hearts of all women.
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This is a fabulous book! I love historical fictions and this was one of the first I ever read.
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Probably my favorite book! I've reread it several times and it is fresh and new with each reading. I just cannot praise it enough. Terrific.
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The Red Tent is a compelling story of Dinah. Her life, her love and the failure of her family and father. It is an amazing tale of life in the Red Tent, where women go during their monthly time of the month. The talk, the secrets and the love that happens as these women love each other. It is a story that goes deeper and explains how Rachel took her father's household God's, what they meant to her and to her sisters in the Red Tent. And most of all the story behind the story of Dinah. When you read the BIBLE, the story of Dinah it is told as though it were the rape of Dinah. In this context it was not a rape. Dinah loved her "groom" was deeply loved by him and wished nothing more than to be united in marriage. Instead her brothers and father promised this to happen and then Dinah awoke in the morning to her husband's dead body. The book chronicles her life before and after and also tells you more of Leah, Dinah's mother. How Leah was actually very, very smart and beloved by her husband Jacob, something that you don't often get or even think about when you read the bible.

I thought this was an excellent book and enjoyed the historic detail and the story of Dinah as told through her voice. Very well done.
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Great story about what life might have been like for women of that time. It was sad, happy, and ultimately hopeful. An excellent read and highly recommended. Love, love, love this book!
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The best book I have read! A must read for all women!
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Old testament life really comes alive in this amazing book. A must for all women.
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The story of Dinah, and her "mothers," Leah, Rachel, Zilpah, and Bilhah,-- the wives of Jacob. A wonderful view of biblical women's life.
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Not very biblical, but a good read.
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My mom is half native American and she use to tell me stories about how all the women, when it was there time of the month, would go to a tent and stay together because the men considered it a mystic time. This book is in that vein as the Red Tent is where the women go during their period and help each other to cope with life at that time. It is a very well written, beautiful book. Do yourself a favor and read it. I am sure you will be glad you did. ;)
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I really got into this story! The main character had such heartache, but, great love, as well. It was interesting to read, as this was my first historical fiction--but, won't be the last.
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Enjoyable read. Will be passing this one along to my mother.
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As someone who grew up going to Sunday School at a wonderful Baptist Church (and loving it) this was alittle different from the Bible story I remember. But I will say it's a great backstory. I enjoyed it and have recommended it to many of my friends.
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Very enjoyable although sobering as to the different cultures and how they treat their women. A must read.
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I enjoyed the writing style and the story of Dinah was great.
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Loved it, loved it, loved it!
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I'm so glad I finally took this out of my TBR pile. This is a wonderful story of women and their lives during Biblical times. You instantly become wrapped up in each of the characters' lives in a sweeping story that is an emotional roller coaster. beautifully portrays the bond all women share. I recommend it highly!
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This was a great book. I could hardly put it down.
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Very little is said in the Bible about Dinah, daughter of Jacob, sister of Joseph and his brothers. This is her story. Although it is too long - at times it reminded me of the "begats" of the Bible - it gives a fascinating picture of the societies of the Canaanites and of the Egyptians, with whom Dinah eventually settles, especially of the lives of women, compared with those of men.
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Not my kind of reading.
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This is a great story taken from the bible story of Jacob but from the women's point of view. Historical stories that we read from the man's point of view who wrote, and lived them, are great - but when those same stories are written from a woman's perspective, it is always so interesting. Ms. Diamante's version of this historical account gives such insight as to the harships women endured everyday, is wonderfully written, and the reader finds it very easy to believe the history, from the women's point of view, could very well be how it truly did happen.
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Wow Wow and Wow! A great read. Just a mention of a womans name in the Bible and the author once again paints a very true to life of the times and trials of this family. Just a wonderful read!
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I have mixed feelings about this book. While this story borrows from scripture, don't make the mistake of thinking that it follows scripture - it does not. In fact, it twists it in some cases. But the author is very careful to say that this is a FICTIONAL story and NOT a translation of scripture, so you can't say you haven't been warned. Having said that, the STORY was wonderful. Very well written, engaging, and thought-provoking. Even though this is out of one person's imagination, it very well could represent what life was actually like in old testament times - it is especially relevant if you are a woman. The only thing that could have made it better imo is if the story actually followed written scripture in the places where it strayed.
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This book was totally different than anything I've read. It was recommended by a friend. I thoroughly enjoyed it and was engrossed the whole time. Diamant makes it seem so real and helps us to realize what it might have been like for women of the bible times. An engaging read!
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This was a great book! I grew up in the Christian faith and have swayed a bit over the years. This book got me to grab the Bible and look up facts and remember stories from when I was younger. This book is a work of fiction and not to be confused with what happened but is very entertaining. The characters were brought to life and given emotion that is hard to get out of the Bible.
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One of my all time favorite books. I love the never before perspective that this familiar Bible tale tells, though it's not an overtly religious book either.
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While the book was a little slow to move along to start, it was a very engaging story.
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Loved this book.
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Although fictional, this is a wonderful look into what like was life for women in Biblical times. Written from the viewpoint of Dinah, daughter of Jacob and Leah, grandaughter of Isaac and Rebecca and great-grandaughter to Abram. Chronicles her life from childhood to death. Interesting read.
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This was great. The author tells such a vivid story that lives on in your memory well after you've turned the last page.

If you enjoy historical fiction, this one is a must read.
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I have to say this is one of the best books I have ever read. I've read it twice now and I am getting ready to read it again. There is something compelling about this story. The second time through was even better than the first and I can't wait for the third. Reading this made me go look up Dinah's story in the bible and I enjoyed that just about as much!
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This story which I read about 2 years ago deserves a re-read BUT I have loaned it out to every female I know and it is out there somewhere. Hopefully, they are enjoying it as much as I did. A fabulous story based on a female biblical character, Dinah the sister of Joseph and his eleven brothers. I devoured this book. I pulled out my Bible to check the referencing stories. While this is admittedly fictionalized - the story behind the story - it didn't matter. I turned the pages of this book so quickly and regretted that the end had to come. When it did, the beauty of the ending moved me to tears. I'm not an emotional person but this book did it to me. The tears were not sad tears. The ending was just so powerful and so beautiful and, for me, a bit unexpected. Any woman who wants to celebrate her woman-ness needs to read this.
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Anita Diamant's Biblical novel sheds a good deal of light on a culture that treats women as chattels, valued solely for breeding sons and their unending, obedient toil.
But among themselves, they have evolved their own private subculture which ensures their survival.
The author's skill at portraying the detail of these close-knit personalites, often in emotional conflict presents a fascinating interpretation of familiar Bible characters and she doesn't flinch from showing some of the mean-spiritedness and despicable behaviour of many of them. Ms. Diamant has carefully read between the lines and exposed much of the troubling issues that surely must have caused some of the horrifying events and great sufferng that resulted.
It's a gripping, resonant story that transcends the narrow cliches of "women's fiction." Thought-provoking, indeed.
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Way too many people to keep track of, had me very confused.
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This is simply one of the most phenomenal well written engaging books I have ever read! Incredibly different than other books - imaginativ. I LOVED it.!
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Amazon description:

The red tent is the place where women gathered during their cycles of birthing, menses, and even illness. Like the conversations and mysteries held within this feminine tent, this sweeping piece of fiction offers an insider's look at the daily life of a biblical sorority of mothers and wives and their one and only daughter, Dinah. Told in the voice of Jacob's daughter Dinah (who only received a glimpse of recognition in the Book of Genesis), we are privy to the fascinating feminine characters who bled within the red tent. In a confiding and poetic voice, Dinah whispers stories of her four mothers, Rachel, Leah, Zilpah, and Bilhah--all wives to Jacob, and each one embodying unique feminine traits. As she reveals these sensual and emotionally charged stories we learn of birthing miracles, slaves, artisans, household gods, and sisterhood secrets. Eventually Dinah delves into her own saga of betrayals, grief, and a call to midwifery.

"Like any sisters who live together and share a husband, my mother and aunties spun a sticky web of loyalties and grudges," Anita Diamant writes in the voice of Dinah. "They traded secrets like bracelets, and these were handed down to me the only surviving girl. They told me things I was too young to hear. They held my face between their hands and made me swear to remember." Remembering women's earthy stories and passionate history is indeed the theme of this magnificent book. In fact, it's been said that The Red Tent is what the Bible might have been had it been written by God's daughters, instead of her sons.
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I loved this book. Excellantly written and the story of Dinah kept me wanting to read more and more. If a movie where made of this book it would be an Epic!!!
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From back cover. A rich and intimate tale of love, honor, and betrayal that has capture the hearts of women across the world. Her name is Dinah. In the bible her fate is merely hinted at...Told in Dinah's voice, The Red Tent reveals the traditions of ancient womanhood and family honor...Deeply affecting and intimate, it com bines outstandingly rich storytelling with an original insight into women society in a remarkable period of early history.
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This is one of my all time favorite books. Written in the first person from Dinah's perspective, she gives us a view of the life of women during the time of the book Genesis. It is a powerful 'you are there' book.
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I plan to never part with my copy this is my favortie book and I have read it a ton of times. I suggest this book all the time it is an amazing work and an interesting story.
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I found this an interesting read. It takes the biblical characters and, with literary lience, weaves an interesting view of life during the begining of the formation of the Jews culture. The previous gods (religions) are not abandoned as would be logical in a developing society. The seperation/differences of men and women create the drama in this story. I was pleased with how it was wrapped up.
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The red tent is the place where women gathered during their cycles of birthing, menses, and even illness. Like the conversations and mysteries held within this feminine tent, this sweeping piece of fiction offers an insider's look at the daily life of a biblical sorority of mothers and wives and their one and only daughter, Dinah. Told in the voice of Jacob's daughter Dinah (who only received a glimpse of recognition in the Book of Genesis), we are privy to the fascinating feminine characters who bled within the red tent. In a confiding and poetic voice, Dinah whispers stories of her four mothers, Rachel, Leah, Zilpah, and Bilhah--all wives to Jacob, and each one embodying unique feminine traits. As she reveals these sensual and emotionally charged stories we learn of birthing miracles, slaves, artisans, household gods, and sisterhood secrets. Eventually Dinah delves into her own saga of betrayals, grief, and a call to midwifery.
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I was expecting this book to blow me away, based on the reviews and controversy around it. That was not the case but I do think it was a good book. The story is beautifully told but I found it to drag at times and be a little tough to follow with so many characters who are intertwined and have strange sounding names. I am not religious nor have a strong Christian background so this felt like historical fiction to me. I would recommend it for a reader who is similar on these issues. It is based on some Biblical characters and some Christians find it upsetting.
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this was a wonderful book. it made me stop and think and after reading this book i really got back into reading my bible. because i knew the story heard it many time but ater reading this i then went to the bible and read it again and it helped tie all the stories together i had learned as a child and currently still studding the bible even more.
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Anita Diamant retells part of the story of Jacob, the father of the Israelites, from the point of view of one of Jacob's only daughters, if not his only daughter, Dinah. Diamant expounds upon the paltry few verses in which the Bible mentions to include women's ritual and goddess-centered beliefs during Biblical times.
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This book is a must read for any believer of the Word. It gave me a whole new perspective on biblical times. The book of Genesis came alive while reading this book hand in hand with the Bible. Very detailed in rituals, so I would not recommend for teenagers or younger....only an adult read.
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This is a great read....very unusual telling of the life of Jacob's daughter. I found the writing to be honest and reflective of the Biblical times. This book has made for a great discussion, re-reading and study of the story from Bible.
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I would say this is a must read. I enjoyed every word and page. I read the Bible text along with the book for comparison. Anita Diamant shows us what life may have been like for the women in the early biblical times. She follows the story of a lone daughter in a large family of brothers, her relationship with her four mothers, siblings, father and grandmother. How she is forced from her home and family and becomes the most sought after midwife. There is really too much to put into a review, please read it for yourself, you will not be dissapointed.
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This book was absolutely phenomenal. I loved ever, single page and was sad to see it end. I highly recommend this book, whether you are religiously inclined or not. There isn't a strong religious message of any denomination. It is just really beautifully written and so incredibly descriptive. I felt as though I could see all the lands and people described.
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I thought from having read the other reviews that this was a good read. I was horribly disappointed. The very inappriately unneccessary sexual situations caught me offguard. I was under the immpression this was a christian book since it was based on a biblical charactor. Not true!!
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I really enjoyed this book.
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I really loved this book! I would have given a full 5 stars if it hadn't been for the last quarter of it.
But, please do NOT miss reading this book! If you like historical fiction and real character development, you will devour this book just as I did :)
I recommend!!!!
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I loved this book. What an excellent read! One of the best books I've ever read.
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this has become one of my favorite books of all time. I am enchanted by the characters strength, beauty and passion. i cant wait to set about reading diamont's other books. i love to read but this book in particular i could not put down.
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Powerful, well written-it's amazing what our ancestors (especially women) put up with-the father of your children is also the father of all of your sister's children? That took some getting used to, I'll bet. Very strong women in this book-just like in real life. Loved it. My book club just read it, and we all thought the same thing.
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A beautiful novel that infuses new life into the Biblical story of Dinah. Told by the heart of a woman, the book recounts the joys, sorrows, day-to-day happiness, and heart wrenching tragedies that befall the wives of Jacob and thier daughter. The book is so detailed and beautifully written that you immediately become ingrained in the lives of the women in the red tent. I finished a book feeling like I was a part of the story. I think women readers in particular will respond well to this story. you feel angry at the injustices suffered by some of the women, and yet their stories are hopeful. I look forward to reading more from Anita Diamant.
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This book provides an incredible look into the mindset of the women during the times of the Old Testament. It helps us to understand why women were treated in a way that does not appeal to us today.

Best of all, it is a wonderful love story. After reading this I have been more open to studying the women of the Bible and I am able to visualize the toils and troubles of the that time for those same women.
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Fascinating story. Paints a wonderful picture of what life might have been like as one of the early children of Israel.
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Loved this book. Any Christian woman doing a Bible Study should read this. Provides a lot of Old Testament history to explain the culture of the time.
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I absolutely fell in love with this book. I almost didn't post it again because I wanted to keep it for myself. However, I posted it so that others could enjoy it. It is a fiction based on fact novel and it was so good that I could't put it down. I felt an immediate kinship with Dinah and the other characters. The way the writer wrote the story, I felt as if I were right there with them. I recommend it to anyone. It is most excellent reading - especially for those who practice mother goddess worship and the secrets of the divine feminine.
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The book was well-written and interesting as a novel. However, as a Christian who respects the word of God, the frequent vulgar and amoral liberties taken here were disturbing. I know it is not intended to be accurate; one can only hope that this is far, far from the reality of life at that time. This book was not what I expected, and I wouldn't recommend it for someone looking for entertainment or enlightenment.
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enjoyable
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My friend gave me this book as a gift, and I am so glad she did. I really loved this story -- it was so beautiful and rich and something I couldn't put down. I know I will read this again and again. I am very happy to have this as part of my collection.
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I began to read this book as part of a book club. I only got 30 or 40 pages into it and put it down. It was very sexual, and I didn't want to continue.
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I really enjoyed this book. A quick read about a Biblical character as a real woman.
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This is my absolute favorite book of all time. My aunt bought my a copy when I was in 9th grade and it LITERALLY changed my life.
If you haven't read it, you need to. :)
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I wanted to be a part of the women, to experience life as they were experiencing it. Loved this book!
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I loved this book. It is an interesting view of women in the biblical era. A must for all women.
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I thought this book was awesome! I really thought that I wouldn't be able to get into it but I couldn't put it down once I started it.
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You feel like you're really getting to see life for women in biblical times, it's great! The characters are written with so many layers, so very interesting! Loved it!
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I suppose I'm in the minority here. I thought the book was just OK. I'm an atheist, and an ex-Catholic ... so maybe this is why I couldn't get into the story. I thought the author really romanticized the past - especially in terms of what it was like for women. While there are hardships in the book ... even they seem romanticized. I'm sure reality was a million times worse for women at the time. It is well written in terms of style, though. But, otherwise, I didn't think it was fantastic. Just OK.
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I love, love, LOVE this book! I have read it several times. I love the way Anita Diamant takes a story from the Bible and fills in all the cracks with this creative, passionate story. You'll feel like you're there living it with all of the characters!
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Wonderful story. Compelling, intriguing.
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Hated this book. Threw it out instead of passing it on. Very boring. Inaccurate advice.
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An all-time favorite of mine.
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If you have a sour stomach it may be hard to take the events that take place in this book. Although this book is upsetting throughout, I still could not wait to turn the next page and find out what happens to Dinah. I haven't stayed up late in a long time but I did for this one. I highly recommend.
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Great book.
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I was engrossed in this book up until shortly after it diverged from the biblical account. The author seemed to take the novel in a direction that, while interesting in some ways,veered off too much from what I expected for no logical reason that I could determine. Sheer whim, I suppose. I never did finish the book, maybe it would have picked up if I had stuck it out. I know the original story is sketchy on the details so one has to grant the author some imaginative license but, to me, it has to follow some logical/intuitive path all the same. It is a well-written story though and many of the reviews I read prior to ordering the book were positive.
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Fast read and really interesting. I had heard lots of good reviews and heartily agree. A very 'womanly' book!
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Fascinating fiction that gives some insight into women's lives in Biblical times. Very frank and at times graphic, this book had a shocking change of tone about 3/4 through the story. The story is told through the eyes of the main character, and her persona is well developed. I was brought to tears more than once. Definitely not light reading, this is a great one for provoking thought and piquing interest in the past.
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Outstanding read!
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What a fantastic book and awesome story. I could almost smell what Dinah smelled and see what she saw. Great book, definitely worth a re-read.
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Great read!
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I'm going through and rating my favorite books, because I love to share my experience when I've found a really rich, joyful read. This is one. Get it! It's so refreshing to read about biblical times from the viewpoint of women. I learned a lot here, with information you don't read in the bible. I'm not religious, but I believe women across the spectrum (and some men, too) will love this. It's of the same caliber as 'The Expected One' about Mary Magdelene, which I also enjoyed immensely.
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Well, not at all like I expected. Disappointing in that it does not adhere to the biblical account closely. It takes quite a different bent other than the Bible. I realize it is fiction but WOW! I cannot understand why it was so popular.
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Excellent book. Very well written. An in-depth look at the lives of women in biblical times, but written as though it were the present.
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This book was very good and i loved it, but there are some sexual parts and they are WAY too descriptive. But altogether the book was very good.
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My favorite book!
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This one of my favorite books. It is on my keeper shelf!
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Enjoyed this book. It gave an interesting historic perspective of womens' lives so long ago.
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This is a fabulous book about the life of women in bibliable times. I have read it twice and passed it on to women friends. Dianh is a powerful woman and healer dispite many troubles. I higly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys historical fiction.
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Great book!!
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What an excellent book! I could not put it down. It depicted early life in Egypt/Israel so graphically, I almost felt as if I was there. What a story! I would recommend this book to anyone!
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Love this book! One of my favorites!
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Very intriguing and informative. Life in those days was difficult enough, but this describes that special time for women only. All about community, comforting, and supporting.
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Having recently lost a child, I would not recommend this book to someone in a similar situation. While wonderfully written with an interesting plot and historically accurate details, the book focuses on births and the desire of children. In 6 more months I might be ready for it, but it was a lot to take in just now.
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One of my all time favorite reads. The connections I felt with these women were extraordinarily on cue, as if by some magic thread we are all connected.
True.
A wonderful book for any spiritual woman.
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I was a bit disappointed by this one. It's a fictional story giving an account of the life of Dinah from the Bible. The first half explored the relationship between Dinah and her mothers in contrast to her relationship with the men in the family. The second half focused on her internal struggles living with her mother-in-law in Egypt. I don't know if it was the attempt to weave as much Biblical reference as possible into the story or the onslaught of characters, but I stayed distracted trying to remember the names and relationships and feeling like the second half jumped from one story to another very quickly. It was interesting, but for some reason I was expecting a little more.
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This book resonates with you.
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Amazing story of sisterhood, empowered women and the love of community.
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I was disappointed with the Biblical discrepencies in The Red Tent.
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One of the best historical fiction novels ever written. Truly references the power of women in history, culture. Wish I had it to read over again.
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It's been several years since I've read this last but I plan to read it again soon. It was such a great story; incredibly thought-provoking. It gives you a different perspective from the women's point of view. Some people may not like it because of the portrayal of the men in the book; they come off quite cruel; but you just have to take it for what it is, not historical fact; it's just a story. It is very inspiring for women. What the character goes through is incredible. An amazing story of a woman's strength. I do recommend it highly.
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I found this book completely enjoyable. What a novel idea for a story. You feel as if you, too, are living during that time, spending your time "in the red tent" along with the other women.
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Biblical Historical fiction - story of Dinah daughter of Jacob.
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wonderful storytelling..i wept at the end..
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A GREAT and FAST read! I highly recommend!
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Amazing book...our book club truly enjoyed it.
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I really liked the first half of the book-it took me a while to get through the rest but I still enjoyed it.
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Engrossing. Reads like a novel, but it made me think and I learned a lot. Very good book, entertaining and thought provoking.
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Wow. I am not a religious person at all but this book was amazing and touched me like no other.
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A more fleshed out version of the events concerning the lfe of Jacob, his four wives and their resulting children. An interesting read, although a bit confusing after awhile with which children belonged to who.
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My wife read this book. From the back cover. Based on stories of the Bible, this tells the story of ancient womanhood through Dinah (ficticious character). The book combines rich story-telling with a valuable achievement in modrn fiction: a new view of biblical women's society.
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I couldnt put it down - its on my favorite book list for sure!
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Excellent historical fiction on biblical life from the feminine perspective. Highly recommended for all women who wonder about living in the ancient past in a man's world.
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This book is interesting from the very first page.
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first half not as exciting as 2nd half, but good, fun read!
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Very interesting point of view from a religious perspective. An over all great read for entertainment!
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A novel of what might have been as the story of Dinah, Leah, Rachel, Zilpah, and Bilhah, and the men surrounding them is told--a new view of biblical women's society.
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Wonderful book!
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Very interesting book. If you're looking for a book club read, this would be a good choice.
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Excellent book! Very interesting details about the traditions of Biblical times.
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Wonderful book. Makes reading the Bible much more interesting now.
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One of the best books I've ever read!
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This book is so well written that you feel you are a part of the story. Anita Diamant did a wonderful job creating her version of the life of Dinah. It is superbly written and leaves you hoping she'll continue bringing her wonderful stories to the world.
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What an interesting read!
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My absolute favorite book! It changed my life and I would recommend for everyone to read this great story of fiction depicted through the eyes of a woman.
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I could just not get into this book at all, so I am putting it up for adoption.
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Great book about the lives of women during the time of the book of Genesis. I had a hard time putting this one down each night.
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One of the best books I've read in years. Well written and thought provoking tale of early women's hardships and blessings.
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A wonderful, detailed look at the life of women in the time of Jacob. Highly recommended.
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A book that sweeps you up -- beautifully written and compelling. The setting is so different from our contemporary lives, and yet the characters are as immediate as our mothers, sisters, friends and daughters. A vivid and touching story. Recommended.
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I read this several years ago and I will surely read it again. For women it's a must read!
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Wonderful book! I learned of this book in the discussion forums. It's probably not a book I would have picked up on my own, but I'm so glad it was recommended and I read it. It kept me turning the pages and made me really care about the characters.
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Having been raised and schooled in the Roman Catholic faith this book was so engrossing as it spoke a women's voice on Old Testament stories that I did not fully appreciate until having read this book. I couldn't put it down and I cried at times. I loved it!
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One of the best books I have ever read!
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One of the best stories I've ever read!
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Rich narration of women in biblical times. Vivid images and once the story picks up, cannot put the book down.
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This is by far one of the best and most interesting books I have read in years. I did not want it to end.
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Really enjoyed the book.
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This was an excellent book. At first I thought it was hard to get into, but once you do, you are hooked!!
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a female perspective of the story from the Bible. A FANTASTIC read!
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Loved this book. Think of it every 25 days...........gave me permission to enter my own red tent, of my own creation.
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Her name is Dinah. In the Bible, her life is only hinted at in a brief and violent detour within the more familiar chapters about ther father, Jacob, and his dozen sons in the Book of Genesis. Told in Dinah's voice, this novel reveals the traditions and turmoil of ancient womanhood - the world of the red tent. Loved it!
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Excellent book - so interesting to learn how women used to live.
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This a great fictional story.
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Awesome book. Very gripping, I loved this book.
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The story of Jacob and Leah's daughter Dinah from the Old testament.
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Very interesting, though not scriptually sound. The author's style was a little too dry for me.
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Great perspective of real life of the times. Who can say what the real life of Dinah was like but Anita Diamant gives us an interesting take on one possibility. The story of the 4 wives of Jacob, in relation to Dinah, was great!
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A beautifully written book and a superb view of the life of women in the old Testament days. I highly recommend this book to both men and women.
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This book was incredible! Told from Dinah's point of view, it's an interesting fictional yet historically researched novel about the times of Jacob's family and the woman's role in life. I was held captivated from beginning to end and wish there were more novels like this out there!
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Great book. It really makes you think about life way back at the time of Jacob and his sons and how life must have been like. It gives a good woman's perspective of biblical times.
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A richly vivid story of Dinah, so briefly mentioned in Genesis. Is this how life was for her and the other women of that time? A powerful story of love and honor that I thoroughly enjoyed reading.
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great read!!
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Her name is Dinah. In the Bible, her life is only hinted at in a brief and violent detour within the more familiar chapters about her father, Jacob, and his dozen sons in the Book of Genesis. (back cover)

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
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I loved this read!!!
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I really enjoyed this book.!
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I know everyone has given this book great ratings, and I was on the waiting list for a while before I got it, but after reading almost half of it I just am not seeing it. I hardly ever leave a book unfinished, but I am missing something I guess.
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Very fun to read, a racy soap-opera in an Old Testament setting.
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Great read. I started reading and couldn't put it down.
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FAscinating study of a differnt culture
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This was a truly wonderful novel and was highly believable. The story of Dinah was so richly detailed, so full of the feel of pre-Christian times & the rituals surrounding the lives of those times. Unlike the bible's account of the lives of these people this had a more authentic flavor to it. I can see her life being as exactly as depicted.
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Loved the story! Emotional, insightful, and inspiring.
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An intriguing and deeply affecting read. I enjoyed it very much.
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I really loved this book. The book club I belong to chose it & I had no idea how intriguing it was. Excellent book to read - especially for women!
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Very well written. Not my usual thing - but a very interesting look at a little known biblical footnote - through the eyes of women.
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I loved this book. Very readable, very believable. I had always thought it must have been so awful to have been banished and 'unclean' whilst menstruating ... I loved the concept of the girls getting to have a week off to rest, chat and be waited on ... an entirely different complexion!
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This was an excellent book. I love the fact that it is written around the women during the time of Abraham. Diamant brought life to the characters, told a story that you can believe in, and did it from a totally different perspective. One of my favorites!
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If you like books by women about women, this is for you!
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This is a beautiful story of some of the most memorable women from the Old Testament. I thoroughly enjoyed stepping into their lives, and the author does a brilliant job taking you back that far into history.
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This is an excellent book! A real page turner.
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this is one of the best books I've read this year. I could not put this book down. The characters are very real and you feel that you are in the story and not just reading it.
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A very interesting alternative view of the Biblical Old Testament Story of Dinah. It makes the people real and sets them in a realistic setting. The story of Jacob and his family becomes much more real, with an emphasis on the role of the women in the family.

This book emphasizes the more traditional religion the women follow. It makes an interesting contrast to the monotheism of the men as related in the Bible. I found it very intereting but it might be offensive to those who are of more conservative religious bent.
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The Red Tent is interesting to me because they took actual characters from the Bible and made them more than one dimensional characters. Dinah was nothing but a footnote, lost to history, until Anita Diamont came along and gave her not only a voice, but a life as well. It was interesting to read about her customs, beliefs, and her place within society and her family. Every time I read this book, Dinah become alive for me. I have read this book so many times that the binding has cracked and the book flops open. A must read, no matter how you feel about religion.
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I'm one of a minority here but I failed to get past 1/4 of the book. I really wanted to like it but it lacked enough emotion for me to continue on. I felt the writing was poor and disjointed. Like another reviewer said, it was every other sentence of "so and so begat so and so" as well as birth after birth with very little emotion. The Red Tent had a great deal of promise but sadly failed to pull me in enough to keep going.
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If you are looking for a biblically acurate story, this is NOT it. I was so disappointed that I quit reading it after the first 3 or 4 chapters.
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Loved this book! Although the characters are from the bible it needs to be read as fiction. Interesting insight into what it must have been like to be a woman in bible times.
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Very interesting story!
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Couldn't get into this book.
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I loved this book!
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A book for women... this book although a novel.... reveals the acheivements women have made since the Book of Genesis.
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Though I found this book interesting, I was somewhat put off by the, in my opinion, passionless quality of the writing.
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Really well written fictional account of the bible story. Good women's book club selection.
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I liked it alot. It kept me up into the wee hours.
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Fabulous fictionalized story from a woman's viewpoint. A "must read!"
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A great read - I loved it.
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I never had the chance to read this book, but I heard it was fantastic from some other moms.
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Superb! Absolutely enjoyed this biblical-fictional story of Dinah, and her four mothers, Rachel, Leah, Zilpah and Bilhah- the four wives of Jacob.
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I was hesitant about this book but I ended up loving it. The writing and the story are excellent. I found it to be very educational and interesting. Definitely recommended.
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I ignored this for a long time because of all the hype around it but ended up enjoying it immenseley. I was afraid it would be preachy but the story was fascinating, tracing the lives of both Dinah and her mothers. The fact that it was written in the first person also added a personal touch to the story.
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An amazing read - very detailed and intricately woven. Well worth reading.
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Fascinating and engaging...I was totally engrossed.
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This book received rave reviews, but I thought it was poorly written. The characters were not well developed. It was repetitive and boring. I did not finish it.
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Quite possibly my favorite book ever. This is a fabulous book and I highly recommend it!
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Fictional retelling of the story of Dinah, daughter of Jacob, from the book of Genesis.
Well-written, but controversial.
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This book is a wonderful story. I am not very familiar with Biblical stories at all, but this is hardly that. The characters are vivid, the writing is lyrical, and I highly recommend it :-)
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This is a favorite of mine. I love reading hte familiar story with a new perspective. Very female oriented though, and those squeamish about female cycles may not like it. Also contains a lot of pagan beliefs so conservative Christians may not like this.
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One of my favorite books that I've ever read.
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An incredible story of Dinah, the forgotten daughter of Jacob and Leah. Fantastic read.
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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
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I didn't think this one was as good as people made it sound.
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A very interesting read. It's pure biblical fiction. Good story
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I thought this book was interesting and well-written. My only disappointment was that it focused more on pagan practices and less on how Jacob's family practiced their faith in God.
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Her name is Dinah. In the Bible her life is only hinted at in a brief and violent detour within the more familiar chapters about her father Jacob, and his dozen sones in the Book of Genesis. Told in Dinah's voice, this novel reveals the traditions and turmoil 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. Dinah's story reaches out from a remarkable period of early history, and is a valuable achievement in modern fiction - a new view of biblical women's society..
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Beautiful story. Loved it.
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Interesting story, and vividly brings to life events I only vaguely remember from reading the Bible.
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This is a great book. Gives lots of insite as to the woman's place during biblical times.
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An amazing story. This glimpse into the life women may have experienced years ago is breathtaking. A must read.
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A great book. It was hard to believe that it was fiction when it seemed like it was so real. A wonderful book. One that will keep me thinking for a long time.
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By far, a favorite of mine. What a wonderful historical read as well as an Aha! moment- Why did women let go of this supportive tradition? They had a great way of dealing with pms...
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A great read. A fun book group discussion book.
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I found this book to be a fascinating look at ancient life. The author took a lot of artistic liberty with the Biblical story, but this makes for a great read.
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Not my style of reading. I just couldn't get into it.
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A very readable book.

If you are looking for biblical-based fiction, this book is NOT it. I made that mistake. The author takes a LOT of liberties with her imagination as it pertains to the Bible.
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I thought it was a very enjoyable book. An interesting, although maybe unrealistic, account of the Biblical story of Jacob's daughter Dinah.
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My sister recommended this book and she was right - it's terrific.
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A fictionalized account of a Biblical character. It provides voice for what a woman's life might have been like at that time.
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This is one of my all-time favorite books. I was fascinated by how Anita Diamant used Bible stories and cultural facts to weave a compelling story. A great book to read alone or to discuss with friends.
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Great read....
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Told through Dinah's voice, the story reveals the traditions and turmoils of ancient womenhood-the world of the red tent. It begins with the four wives of Jacobs and traces Dinah growing up through her hard working youth, call to midwifery and a new home in Egypt.
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Excellent read! A wonderful view of women in biblical times.
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This is one of my most favorite books.
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A very interesting historical-fictional look into the lives of women during Biblical times as seen through the eyes of Jacob's daughter, Dinah.
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Dinah daugther of Jacobnand his dozen sons.Told in Dinah's voiceThis novel reveals the traditions and turmoil of ancient womenhood.
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A novel about the four wives of Jacob, A new view of biblical women's society.
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AWESOME BOOK!!! I am a mystery reader but got this book for christmas and could not put it down.
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A good read.
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Rich story telling with a valuable achievement in modern fiction. A wonderful story of how life was for women in the biblical times. Very very interesting. Excellent story.
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A FICTION story of the life of Dinah. While given only 1 chapter in the book of Genesis the author spins a whole stroy about the details of her life. A very interesting take on a little known subject.
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Excellent story about women and familial ties that bind us together. Anyone can enjoy.
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This book is a MUST READ - really beautiful!
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This is such a different book - I absolutely loved it. I've probably read it 3 or 4 times and am posting it so that I won't re-read it. The title of the book is exactly what the story is about!
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Swept me up from the first page and held me tight for three days; the quickest I've finished a book in so long. This story is incredible, heart-wrenching, gut twisting, and inspiring. I will recommend it to many of my friends.
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I read this book for as a book club selection and I thought it was pretty awesome. It was interesting to read a book that actually had a story in the bible that you could read in conjunction with the book if you wanted to. The bible story itself was vague but the storyline itself was WAY better than the bible story. I was really happy to read this book with a group of people.
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The author uses the story of Jacob from the bible as a template to weave a story from the perspective of Abraham's 4 wives. She utilizes factual information from the time (much like author Dan Brown) to create a fictional work that is truly believable. Through the story we learn to understand the emotional and psychological struggles of four women sharing one man, the constraints of the application of the strict laws in the torah, as well as the pagan/goddess culture from which his last two wives came from, and the traditions and rituals that they may have brought with them and assimilated into the family. The title, the red tent, reflects the time during the menses in which women were seperated from the men, as per the religious judaic laws, where they resided in a seperate tent. Currently living in a time of womens' liberation, this law that once seemed so oppresive and barbaric to me, was given a softer side in the book. It was exhibited as a time of well earned rest for the women, a time to bond, come together and share stories, and the wisdom of womanhood.
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An amazing and moving work of fiction. We don't know what women's lives were really like in those times but this was a terrific read.
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WOW! Excellent book on the lives of women in early biblical times. Absolutely LOVED it - fast read, couldn't put it down (two days). Gives you a feel for the life a woman may have lived in those times... fasicnating! HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!
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AWESOME READ!!!!! I could not stop reading this book... it touched my heart and soul
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Brilliant book! Loved the writing style and held my interest all the way through.
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Loved, loved, loved - read twice!
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An enjoyable piece of fiction.
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A painfulluy beautiful book. Every woman, if not everyone should read this book.
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You just have to read this--excellent; empowering
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Amazing! Historical (female) fiction based on (male) stories from the bible... a great read for the gals!
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Interesting and well-written.
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the story of Dinah, the daughter of Jacob, who is only breifly mentioned in the Bible...interesting story.
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I loved this book. It is also an easy read.
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A wonderful tale! Very thought-provoking and moving.
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Loved this book!!! I can't say enough good things about it - loved the strong character of Dinah and the female perspective. This should be required reading for all women!
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The Boston Globe wrote about this book-An intense,vivid novel..It is tempting to say that THE RED TENT is what the Bible would be like if it had been written by women,but only Diamant could have given it such sweep and grace.
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The only thing from the Bible in this story is the name of the characters. It is not a Biblical account. One of the few books I've ever stopped reading before the end.
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The voice of Dinah, the daughter of the biblical Jacob with the 12 sons. Very interesting look into the "red tent" where the women congregated once a month and when tending their infants. It is full of the history of how the women lived in biblical times.
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A great story that pulls you in from the first paragraph and holds you captive until the very last word. Highly recommended!
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This was my favorite book for over 2 years. Thoroughly enjoyable!
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Fascinating book!
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Truly enjoyed this book. One of my top favorites of all time. I would recommend this without reservation.
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A view of women's biblical society which shows how we are in many ways the same as we were then.Strong and vibrant!!!
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A very interesting story of the lives of women in Biblical times. Besides the characters in the book, there is no other Biblical / Christian reference.
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A fine novel; a great read. Read it three weeks ago and still thinking about it.
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Beautiful story...biblical but not preachy or...past tense ( if that makes any sense).
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This is an incredible book. It gave life to a woman in the bible that didn't have much backstory to her at all. Now Dinah is one of my favorite people. A great story about womanhood and love.
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This fictional story of Dinah from the Bible is well-worth reading and I highly recommend it.A fantastic book!
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I cannot praise this book enough. There aren't many books where you lose yourself in the pages to the exclusion of all else and where you begin to live the story yourself. This is one of them!!! Beautifully written.
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Her name is Dinah. In the Bible, her life is only hinted at in a brief and violent detour within a more familiar chapter about her father, Jacob, and his dozen sons in the Book of Genesis.
Told in Dinah's voice, this novel reveals the traditions and turmoil 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 are to 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 immediate connection.
Deeply affecting, The Red Tent combines rich storytelling with a valuable achievement in modern fiction: a new view of biblical women's society.
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I found reading this book not very interesting, and very cumbersome.
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Pretty good book. Interesting read.
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Wonderful story. I'll never look at the Bible the same way again.
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This is a passionate tale, quite simply, a great read.
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Fascinating......
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This was a good read, hard to put down. It's not accurate according to the Bible, but it was interesting to see Dinah and really consider her story.
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Excellant book. A fictionalized account of Jacob's only daughter.
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I really enjoyed reading this book. A Bibical, fictional book about a woman named Dinah who is Jacob's daughter.
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Excellent book. I enjoyed the story and found it very interesting. I loved the women in this story and the description of ancient times.
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I loved this book from the beginning-as soon as I had it finished, I wanted to read it over again to catch what I had missed...
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A great discussion book for reading groups but stands well on its own, as well. Thoroughly enjoyable and a glimpse into the ancient customs regarding women.
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Fascinating story of life in the ancient world involving the four wives of Jacob.
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Absolutely one of the most intriguing books I have ever read. It really is a fascinating story.
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I loved this book! After reading it I recommended it to my younger grown daughter, who had already read it and was planning to give it to me. The older daughter loved it and offered to loan it to HER mother-in-law, who said it was one of her favorite books!!!
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Enjoyed the characters and the description of the daily life of the women of that tiem period. Fast read.
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Wonderful story - could not put this novel down.
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It took recommendations from five different people to get me to read this book. When I finally did, I couldn't put it down. It's just wonderful.
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A fantastic book about Dinah, daughter of Jacob. I couldn't put it down.
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The book definitely had a theme. One which i was not interested. I was hoping to get a different few of the story of Leah and Rachel....well, it was different.
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I loved this book, but it also drove me crazy!

WARNING! This review gives a great deal of the story line away!

I had the opportunity to see the movie before the book, which I almost never do if I can help it. The movie had me ready for the difficult parts to get through. Yet there were strange changes in the story. So I began to understand that they are two different version of the same story. Like listening to two variations by two different storytellers.
Dina is Jacob's only daughter. She lives with her mothers and Aunties and is raised with the red tent traditions of the goddesses of her mothers. Jacob follows the one God, Elohim like his father Issac. He has a brother Esau. His mother is Rebecca the Oracle. Rebecca and Jacob worked together to trick a blind Issac to give his blessing to the younger son and not the older son. Jacob shamed found a home with a kinsman. He fell in love at first sight with Rachel. Rachel's sister Leah was the one who took care of everyone and was the first born so this was a bit of a problem. Jacob works for his kinsman for 7 years to earn the right for Rachel's hand in marriage.
Jacobs family grows and he has the need to leave his kinsman. They travel far away heading home to the lands of his family. Many things happen on the way there. Many other family members are meet and Dina grows up with her mother/aunties in the red tent.
Dina spends time with Rebecca. They seem to never really hit it off, but when Dina returns she has changed.
Their family has gotten so large they must find new lands to live on. So they find themselves in Sachem.
Rachel continues to work with Inna as a midwife and Dina is training. Rachel gets called to go to Sachem to help deliver a baby where she meets the queen. Dina finds the Prince and they react strongly toward one another.
The queen decides to fix up her son and Dina to create a bond with the most successful shepherd, Jacob.
Dina and Shalem fall in love blissfully and become man and wife. Hamor the king goes to Jacob with a brideprice worthy of a queen, but he does not accept.
Joseph, jokingly says something about having all the men of Sachem give their foreskin and be circumcised. Hamor, Shalem and their kisnmen agree.
Jacobs sons are greedy and plan the most heinous of crimes to regain Dina's honor.
Dina loses everything. She curses Jacob and heads back to Sachem to die. But the queen find her and realizes Dina is pregnant with her grandson and so they flee to egypt.
Egypt cares for them. She finds kindness from the queens family, but has to struggle with the customs of egypt and become less important in her sons life for his success in Egypt.
She is befriended by her midwife to also become a midwife in Egypt. And so it goes, life moves on. But Dina still has her past crushing down on her.
The queen dies, Dina stays on. But her position changes, but she finally goes outside of the house and finds a strong carpenter at the market. She is remiss in dealing with this new person because her son comes home to become a man.
She continues until the Scribe's home she lives in gets turned over to a new scribe because Re-mose's Ba (uncle) has died. So she travels with Meryt to the Valley of the Kings to live with her family. Her best friend is always looking out for her. Dina brings blessing with her and she is still holding onto her past. Dina become a midwife again here in this new place. The carpenter comes to find her. Dina finds happiness.
Dina gets summoned to the palace to midwife for the grand vizier. She becomes ill and finds out her son is in danger. When she goes before the grand vizier she is face to face with her brother... can she get mercy from her brother Joseph for Her son Re-mose? What happens to her mother/aunties? Will Dina ever see her family again? Will it be a reunion? Does Dina ever see Jacob again? Will Dina create a relationship with Joseph again? Will Dina be allowed to enjoy her life with Benia? Will Dina ever find piece from her past? Will Dina ever have another child? Will anyone ever remember Dina the only daughter of Jacob in the patriarchal society that changes Dina's world forever?
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wow! A great biblicalish "herstory". Very engaging. Loved it.
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Fantastic book. Wonderful writing.
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This book is horrible, boring, grandiose and a complete waste of time.
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Not a Biblical account of the story!
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Good read:)
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Truly interesting story, well written.
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Quite interesting to read an Old Testament story from a woman's point of view
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My favorite book. Read it in one day. I recommend it to everyone I know.
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Historical and timely. Teaches so much.
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This was an interesting take on a well known Bible story. I enjoyed the read, and would recommend it to those who enjoy historical fiction.
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I know this has been described as a great novel and I'm sure it is, but the first 35 pages dealt with the quite descriptive coming of age and the menstural cycles of biblical women, marrying and mating, and giving birth. Not exactly something I could get lost in reading. Just my humble opinion.
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This book takes a small footnote in the Bible and expands it into an interesting character. The vivid descriptions make this a book that is hard to put down.
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a great read
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Story of strong woman in biblical times.
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I really enjoyed this book and the author's take on the Biblical story of Jacob, Leah, Rachel and Dinah. I read Genesis in the Old Testament chapters 33,34,35 prior to reading and it helped me to see Dinah's version of her life through the eyes of the author.
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nice book.
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An interpretation of the Biblical story of Rachel, Leah, Dinah and Jacob. Well written. Good read.
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Excellent story, well written! Highly recommended!
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I have OCD which means if I start a book, I feel compelled to finish it.... thirty pages into this and I returned it to the library unfinished. The Biblical inaccuracies are inexcusable, especially when the author notes at the end of the book that she tried to remain as biblically accurate as possible. But then the perverse sexual explicitness portrayed so early on.... Jacob masturbating, Laban and the shepherds sexually abusing the sheep..... She treated these people as if they had no sense of self worth or self control, as is they were crude, crass, baseist and animalistic. Granted the Bible is filled with real people who did genuinely sinful and disgusting things but that was not what I was expecting to read when I popped open this book!
According to other reviewers, Diament wrote that Joseph and Potipher's wife were involved sexually... the Bible is VERY clear that they were NOT and as a believer that the Bible is the inspired word of God and every word is real and true... I was very disappointed with the liberties that the author took. Some reviewers rave about the beauty of womanhood that this book portrays but I couldn't get past the perverse sexual explicitness so early into the story and so I never got that far.
If you're wanting a clean and respectful biblically accurate fictional story about the Founding Family.... try something else. The Christian market has come a long way in the last decade since this book was published and has quite a few nice stories to offer!
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Good read.
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A unique re-telling of the story of Joseph...from his sister's point of view.
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I REALLY enjoyed this book.
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Amazon.com
The red tent is the place where women gathered during their cycles of birthing, menses, and even illness. Like the conversations and mysteries held within this feminine tent, this sweeping piece of fiction offers an insider's look at the daily life of a biblical sorority of mothers and wives and their one and only daughter, Dinah. Told in the voice of Jacob's daughter Dinah (who only received a glimpse of recognition in the Book of Genesis), we are privy to the fascinating feminine characters who bled within the red tent. In a confiding and poetic voice, Dinah whispers stories of her four mothers, Rachel, Leah, Zilpah, and Bilhah--all wives to Jacob, and each one embodying unique feminine traits. As she reveals these sensual and emotionally charged stories we learn of birthing miracles, slaves, artisans, household gods, and sisterhood secrets. Eventually Dinah delves into her own saga of betrayals, grief, and a call to midwifery.

"Like any sisters who live together and share a husband, my mother and aunties spun a sticky web of loyalties and grudges," Anita Diamant writes in the voice of Dinah. "They traded secrets like bracelets, and these were handed down to me the only surviving girl. They told me things I was too young to hear. They held my face between their hands and made me swear to remember." Remembering women's earthy stories and passionate history is indeed the theme of this magnificent book. In fact, it's been said that The Red Tent is what the Bible might have been had it been written by God's daughters, instead of her sons. --Gail Hudson
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Fiction, Told through Dinah's voice. Informed readers of the bible know the real story of Dinah and Shechem. He was called the most honorable of his city...yet he raped Dinah. He was killed by her brothers along with most of the men in the city. They never married, I just could not get past the truth to get into this Pinocchio tale. I do not recommend it.
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Wonderful book about women in biblical times. I was told to read this by a friend and didn't think I would like it cause it wasn't my type of book. However I really enjoyed it and it is now one of my favorites.
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I didn't find this book as great as the hype made about it. The entire thing, pretty much, was extrabiblical (which is a given being as there is only one sentence about the main character in the Bible) and it was rather melodramatic. A nice look at the lives and roles of women at this time. Not a bad read.
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One of my favorite books.
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I enjoyed this.
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Her name is Dinah. In the Bible, her life is only hinted at in a brief and violent detour within the more familiar chapters about her father, Jacob, and his dozen sons in the book of Genesis.
Told in Dinah's voice, this novel reveals the traditions and turmoil 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 are to 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, immediate connection.
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Very good - learned a lot of Biblical history.
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Was not to my liking
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Great story! I'm keeping this one on the shelf for sure.
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I'm the only one I know who didn't enjoy this........not sure why!
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My book club has a great discussion after reading this story.
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I loved this book
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Amazon.com: "The red tent is the place where women gathered during their cycles of birthing, menses, and even illness. Like the conversations and mysteries held within this feminine tent, this sweeping piece of fiction offers an insider's look at the daily life of a biblical sorority of mothers and wives and their one and only daughter, Dinah. Told in the voice of Jacob's daughter Dinah (who only received a glimpse of recognition in the Book of Genesis), we are privy to the fascinating feminine characters who bled within the red tent. In a confiding and poetic voice, Dinah whispers stories of her four mothers, Rachel, Leah, Zilpah, and Bilhah--all wives to Jacob, and each one embodying unique feminine traits. As she reveals these sensual and emotionally charged stories we learn of birthing miracles, slaves, artisans, household gods, and sisterhood secrets. Eventually Dinah delves into her own saga of betrayals, grief, and a call to midwifery.
"Like any sisters who live together and share a husband, my mother and aunties spun a sticky web of loyalties and grudges," Anita Diamant writes in the voice of Dinah. "They traded secrets like bracelets, and these were handed down to me the only surviving girl. They told me things I was too young to hear. They held my face between their hands and made me swear to remember." Remembering women's earthy stories and passionate history is indeed the theme of this magnificent book. In fact, it's been said that The Red Tent is what the Bible might have been had it been written by God's daughters, instead of her sons." --Gail Hudson

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.
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The red tent is the place where women gathered during their cycles of birthing, menses, and even illness. Like the conversations and mysteries held within this feminine tent, this sweeping piece of fiction offers an insider's look at the daily life of a biblical sorority of mothers and wives and their one and only daughter, Dinah. Told in the voice of Jacob's daughter Dinah (who only received a glimpse of recognition in the Book of Genesis), we are privy to the fascinating feminine characters who bled within the red tent. In a confiding and poetic voice, Dinah whispers stories of her four mothers, Rachel, Leah, Zilpah, and Bilhah--all wives to Jacob, and each one embodying unique feminine traits. As she reveals these sensual and emotionally charged stories we learn of birthing miracles, slaves, artisans, household gods, and sisterhood secrets. Eventually Dinah delves into her own saga of betrayals, grief, and a call to midwifery.
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Excellent, fascinating - adding to my favorites list.
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I was unsure of what to expect from this book, so it sat in my "to be read" pile until the pile was empty and only it was left. I was pleasantly surprised at what I found.

Diamant takes a little know character from the Bible and turns her, and her more "famous" family into "real" people. I was moved from the very begining. There are few books that I have had such an emotional reaction to. The Red Tent is quite possibly one of the best books I have ever read, and Dinah is one of my favorite people.
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great book, could not put it down
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The red tent is the place where women gathered during their cycles of birthing, menses, and even illness. Like the conversations and mysteries held within this feminine tent, this sweeping piece of fiction offers an insider's look at the daily life of a biblical sorority of mothers and wives and their one and only daughter, Dinah. Told in the voice of Jacob's daughter Dinah (who only received a glimpse of recognition in the Book of Genesis), we are privy to the fascinating feminine characters who bled within the red tent. In a confiding and poetic voice, Dinah whispers stories of her four mothers, Rachel, Leah, Zilpah, and Bilhah--all wives to Jacob, and each one embodying unique feminine traits. As she reveals these sensual and emotionally charged stories we learn of birthing miracles, slaves, artisans, household gods, and sisterhood secrets. Eventually Dinah delves into her own saga of betrayals, grief, and a call to midwifery.
"Like any sisters who live together and share a husband, my mother and aunties spun a sticky web of loyalties and grudges," Anita Diamant writes in the voice of Dinah. "They traded secrets like bracelets, and these were handed down to me the only surviving girl. They told me things I was too young to hear. They held my face between their hands and made me swear to remember." Remembering women's earthy stories and passionate history is indeed the theme of this magnificent book. In fact, it's been said that The Red Tent is what the Bible might have been had it been written by God's daughters, instead of her sons. --Gail Hudson
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love this book
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"Her name is Dinah. In the bible, her life is only hinted at in a brief and violent detour within the chapters about her father, Jacob, and his sons in Genesis. This novel reveals the traditions and turmoil of ancient womanhood-the world of the red tent..a new view of biblical women's society."
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Incredibly popular book for women and as a frequent book club selection. Told in Dinah's voice, the novel reveals the traditions and turmoil of ancient womanhood--the world of the red tent.
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I thought this book was a very interesting read.
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I was a little nieve going into this book. I was looking forward to reading a fictional book that was based off of scripture found from the Bible. Instead I got a sexual and immoral teaching. I continue to read toward the middle hoping that the pages would lead to this families discovery of God and their struggle to live Godly lives. Instead I got more info of the gods with little "g" and goddess. Very disappointed by this book and would not recommend. Especially if you are looking for a biblical read. This book could turn you away from God's word if you were just beginning to read the Bible. To all my Christian sister, pass on this one!
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Great read.
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What a great book, lots of history and imagination
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From Library Journal
Skillfully interweaving biblical tales with events and characters of her own invention, Diamant\'s (Living a Jewish Life, 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.
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I stopped reading The Red Tent after the first section. It was somewhat pornographic, giving details on how Jacob serviced his wives, how other males performed acts with animals, and how men masturbated. I understand that this was supposed to be a fictional interpretation of what was missing from the Bible, but did Anita need to be so vulgar? I took my copy of the book out of circulation and use it for what it is - trash.
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Anita Diamant took her considerable skills as a writer and turned out a vulgar tale of women as victims. This book could have been so much better if she wouldn't have twisted this biblical tale. I am disgusted with women taking our strong female role models and making them unseemly. If you like cheap erotica that victimizes female characters for illicit thrills this book is for you.
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I have never experienced such disappointment in a book as I did with this one. Wish I had read more of the reviews before ordering it. If you have ever studied Genesis and believe the Bible to be true, you will not enjoy this book. If you have any reverence for the Bible, this book will offend you. I can not in good conscience finish this book or even repost it. It is going in the garbage.
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Did not like it at all. I will be recycling the book
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I got this book, because it was the next one in line for a book club discussion, but after leafing through it, I had second thoughts. In general, I like reading historical fiction where the story reflects life at that time - in other words, where the facts have been researched properly and I can rely on at least getting somewhat of an education of the circumstances and customs of the time. I did not see any recommendations on the back of the book by any scholars as to how well researched it was, or how accurately it portrays the life of bronze-age people in Canaan.

So I went to the reviews here and on Amazon. While there are many positive reviews, the (fewer) bad ones had the ring of being based on facts. Scholars apparently agree that Ms. Diamant did do very little research and reading of source materials about the customs and practices of this time, getting names, genealogies, and gods wrong, etc. When I read historical fiction, I at least do not want to be misinformed.

Some of the bad reviews were based on the unflattering portrayal of biblical characters, even calling the book "blasphemous". If your "faith" cannot take such a portrayal, well ... then you should reexamine what exactly you believe in, anyway. It's definitely not a book for people who need to believe that the Bible is literally true.

In any case, I ended up not reading this book, because I do not trust its historical accuracy. It received high marks for story-telling from nearly everyone - so read it as an imaginative story.
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Although Diamant's writing Dinah's story has a way of drawing the reader in, I couldn't finish this book. As a childbirth educator, I found her portrayal of birth absolutely flawed. She, like most people in the western world, believes that birth is dramatic, painful, and something to be feared. As I read about the experiences of Dinah and the other midwives, I kept shaking my head in disbelief. I finally had to stop reading because I felt so irritated every time birth was mentioned. I can't imagine that biblical women really feared and suffered through birth the way Diamant claims.
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This book is about Dinah, the only daughter of Jacob who is talked about in the Bible. I believe the Bible is truth, without a shadow of a doubt, and that being said, I was seriously shocked and disappointed by the amount of paganism and sexual innuendos in this book. It being a Biblically based work of fiction and all. I tried reading this book, I was even excited about it. I expected it to be a powerful voice from a women who we don't hear from, and is only known as the daughter of Jacob that was raped, and then whose brothers went out and murdered all the men in a town as retribution. But in that hopeful assumption I was wrong.
Diamant sets up a whole back story for the wives of Jacob and the way life was for them growing up, and then what happens when Jacob himself comes out of the desert to get a wife from his mothers side of the family. The basic story line is accurate, but that's about all I can say in its favor. I fully understand artistic licence, but "Leah had weak eyes," (Genesis 29:17) not strange eyes that people didn't like looking at so they just said her eyes were weak. Though this is small, and forgivable, the compilation of a myriad of these little things, not to mention the lewd comments, irritated me. I thought maybe it would get better and I could keep going, so I looked ahead, but it only got worse because she sets up Rebekah, Jacobs mother, as some sort of lesser deity and that was the proverbial straw that broke the camels back.
So sadly the overall dissidence of this book with the Bible, where the story originally came from, was too overwhelming, and I had to quit reading it after roughly 20 pages along with a smattering of middle pages.
I apologize if I offended anyone who really loved this book, but I just don't see it...
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Fantastic
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This book was absolutely amazing. I found it absolutely facinating and a wonderful perspective of what life may have been like for women during the time of Dinah.
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