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The Red Tent
Author: Anita Diamant
Publisher: Picador
URL: <>
Publication Date: September 1, 1998
Subject Fiction/Religious
Pages: 321

Dinah: no one has ever really heard her side of the story, until now. This fictitious account describes the life and times of the Biblical Jacob and his  "small" harem of wives, as well as his daughter, Dinah. People who know the Old Testament of the Bible only know of Dinah from a few short verses.

The Red Tent goes beyond the Bible, creating her life and story, giving her life validity and essence. All the secrets that these women had were only shared amongst each other in their Red Tent--celebrating life, mourning death, all clinging to each other in a band of courage. The story of Dinah begins with the first meeting of her parents, long before she was ever born, and she doesn't enter the picture until almost half-way into the book. The first half explains the life into which she would be born, as well as her father, Jacob becoming a wealthy and wise shepherd, and husband to many wives, and father to many children. The reader will see and understand the different strengths, weaknesses and responsibilities of the different wives, how Jacob favored one more and for what reasons.

After Dinah's appearance, she sees what growing up does to her playmate-brothers, and is the first daughter to be allowed to enter the Red Tent before she is a proclaimed woman. The audience will read of her passionate love for water, the betrayal of her father, her son's future, and reunion of her family. There is slight graphic detail about Dinah's and her mother's sexual encounters, but nothing pornographic. Definitely an empowering read for women, The Red Tent is an intriguing, exciting novel that the reader will not be able to put down, and a story that will permeate the mind, giving the audience a look into an exciting culture and era. 

Amanda D. Walker  7/11/2005



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