Israel with The Red Tent

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“The story it told was unremarkable: a tale of love found and lost–the oldest story in the world. The only story.”–Dinah, The Red Tent

  • Here’s what happens:
    • This is the fictional autobiography of Dinah, sister of Joseph and a relatively minor character in the Bible. Diamant explores the relationships of women through the ancient custom of the red tent, a retreat for menstruating women, and fleshes out the story of Dinah, Jacob’s only daughter. She covers her sacred journey into womanhood, her first love, and of course, a whole mess of bloodshed and tragedy, because it’s set in biblical times and that’s just the kind of stuff that happened.
  • It’s good because:
    • Dinah is a curious, precocious and understanding narrator who renders a world very different from ours pretty easy to get immersed in. She is a compelling character, and her story is intimate and special. Her story is of women everywhere who have endured whatever life has given them, and it’s a resonant one that matters.
  • Read if:
    • You haven’t read it yet. I never would’ve guessed the coming-of-age story of a biblical woman would’ve enraptured me for three days, but I could barely put this book down. Romantic, dark, and surprisingly relatable, I understand why this book is so often talked about.

Up next: St. Thomas with Alice Hoffman’s The Marriage of Opposites!

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