The Red Tent – Anita Diamant

Title: The Red Tent

Author: Anita Diamant

Genre: Historical Fiction, Christian Fiction

Plot: Dinah is Jacob’s only daughter. He has twelve sons between four wives, this is early biblical times. But this is Dinah’s story and told through her eyes. She is loved by her mothers and is delighted whenever she is allowed to help growing up. There’s lots of work to do, taking care of the animals, washing clothes, etc. Her closest friend is her brother Joseph. Dinah envies the times the mothers and other women in Jacob’s camp get to go to the red tent once a month. When she hits puberty she understands the significance and a great ceremony is held. Hard times hit some time later. Jacob moves the family to Egypt with her grandfather Abraham. There, Dinah is married to a wealthy Egyptian’s son. She spends a short while with him before all of the Egyptian men are circumcised. Her brother’s, fearing for her safety and their own, attack and kill all of the men of the family, including her husband. Dinah flees with the remaining Egyptians. Her family thinks she’s dead. Dinah learns she is pregnant shortly after. She bears a son. Her mother-in-law is insistent that Dinah’s son be raised in the Egyptian culture. Dinah reluctantly accepts and becomes no more than a servant in the Egyptian’s household. Slowly, Dinah realizes that she can make her own way in the world. She leave’s her son’s household and lives among friends. Dinah finds her brother, Joseph, who’s become second only to pharaoh. She makes peace with her life and finds love again.

Rating: 3.5 – a good story, and a slow and steady one.

Opinion: This is an accurate historical fiction book. It carefully weaves the history of the time with biblical history. Though I don’t know my old testament as well as I should, the timeline fits, as there is only a brief mention of Dinah. The bible mostly focuses on Dinah’s brothers. I enjoyed learning more in depth about the lives of people in the bible and what life was really like. There were a few things I had questions about, that most people gloss over in the bible, but was able to see the reasons for them. This book was a little slow for my liking, but still a good book. I would recommend this book for those who enjoy ancient history and want to learn more about other culture’s pasts.

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