Tuesday, June 28, 2011

The Red Tent - Anita Diamant

I read The Red Tent years ago
when I was living in Korea.
One of my colleagues had just finished reading it,
and said it was the best book she'd read in years.

So I borrowed it.
And loved it.
And have never stopped thinking about it.

So when I noticed in my 11/11 Book Challenge
there was a re-read of a book
I decided to go back, and read this again.
It's been a decade since the last time I read it,
and it was still as powerful.

The Red Tent is the story of Jacob's daughter, Dinah,
and his four wives,
all of whom are a mother to Dinah.
Leah, Rachel, Zilpah and Bilhah,
all bring their own gifts to Dinah.

Anita Diamant says it was the relationship between Leah and Rachel
that got her thinking about The Red Tent.
In the bible,
the two sisters are against each other, and that never sat right with her.
The traditional view of Leah
as the ugly/spiteful sister
and that Jacob was indifferent to her,
didn't sit right with Anita,
as they had 9 children together.
She chose to create a story for Dinah,
after re-reading Genesis
and noticing her silence.

The book is split into 3 stories;
The story of the mothers,
Dinah's story,
Dinah in Egypt.

I have to admit,
the only thing I know about Jacob
and his sons,
is the story of Joseph.
And that's thanks to
Donny Osmond
Joseph and the Amazing Technocolour Dreamcoat.

I loved this book as much as I did
the first time around.