The Red Tent

by Anita Diamant | Literature & Fiction |
ISBN: 0330487965 Global Overview for this book
Registered by Gooner of March, Cambridgeshire United Kingdom on 11/6/2004
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14 journalers for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by Gooner from March, Cambridgeshire United Kingdom on Saturday, November 06, 2004
As this is about No. 276 on my TBR pile, it's going out as a bookring, to give me a chance to get round to it, and to help declutter my bookshelves!

Participants are as follows:

1. aubriel
2. Beebarf
3. akg
4. nice-cup-of-tea
5. abrokenstarr
6. Normy
7. Pookledo
8. scotsbookie
9. wyldetwo
10.caroline080
11.angellica
12.valer1e
13.Candy-is-Dandy
14.Gooner

Anyone else want to be added? Please PM me.

Journal Entry 2 by aubriel from Sheffield, South Yorkshire United Kingdom on Friday, November 12, 2004
The latest arrival on my door mat :-)

Journal Entry 3 by aubriel from Sheffield, South Yorkshire United Kingdom on Monday, November 22, 2004
I really enjoyed this story. Not sure if it is something that I would normally have bought myself, but I am glad I had the chance to read it.


Journal Entry 4 by beeofgoodcheer from Stowmarket, Suffolk United Kingdom on Thursday, November 25, 2004
This book was waiting for me when I came back very late and very tired from a business trip - very difficult to resist the urge to just dive in!

Thank you Gooner & Aubriel!

Journal Entry 5 by beeofgoodcheer from Stowmarket, Suffolk United Kingdom on Friday, November 26, 2004
I started this book today on my commute to work, and already I'm being drawn in by Dinah's voice. I may have to hide this if I'm to get any chores done this weekend!

Journal Entry 6 by beeofgoodcheer from Stowmarket, Suffolk United Kingdom on Thursday, December 02, 2004
Finished 1 December.

I really liked Dinah. She was perceptive, loving and with a great voice. Or at least, for the first two thirds of the book. After the death of Shalem, the book seemed to lose it's way. There was too much "and so the months and years passed" which got a little dull.

But the first section, about her life in the encampment with her mothers and the family was great - it seemed a very warm, vibrant and evocative memoir of a time that isn't well documented at all.

I think I'd give it an 8.5 really!

Thanks so much Gooner for giving me the opportunity to read this!

Journal Entry 7 by beeofgoodcheer at on Saturday, February 19, 2005

Released 14 yrs ago (2/19/2005 UTC) at

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On it's way to akg - enjoy!

Journal Entry 8 by akg from Didcot, Oxfordshire United Kingdom on Tuesday, February 22, 2005
Got this today, 4th ring in 10 days so it might take me a while to get round to it. Let me know if anyone else is added to the list and I'll see if I can more it up the list. I am looking forward to reading this as it has been recommended to me for a long time.

Journal Entry 9 by akg from Didcot, Oxfordshire United Kingdom on Wednesday, March 16, 2005
This book is narrated by Dinah; the first section is about her mother and three aunts and the second section about her own story. Although the story has happy and uplifting moments it also has many moments of distress and great upheaval to the main characters.

The story begins with the arrival of Jacob at his uncle Laban’s camp. He marries two of Laban’s daughters (and is given the other two as dowries). Obviously having four sisters as wives leads to jealously but also great bonding and unity. Out of the thirteen living children the four women have, Dinah is the only daughter, and is therefore important to all of them as she will learn their stories.

However, life doesn’t run as smoothly as expected. There is conflict between Jacob and his father in-law and then between Jacob’s sons. This is unsettling to the women and after experiencing both love and tragedy Dinah travels to Egypt where she earns respect and fame from her practise of midwifery.

I admit I found the book confusing to start with as there were so many characters and was glad there was a family tree at the beginning of the book, but the characters soon developed their own personalities, especially the women. The culture of the red tent was fascinating to read about and how attitudes were changing from this old way of life to the new religion of Abraham (Jacob’s grandfather). However it is not the best book I have read this year.

Journal Entry 10 by akg from Didcot, Oxfordshire United Kingdom on Monday, March 21, 2005
Posted to nice-cup-of-tea today

Journal Entry 11 by nice-cup-of-tea from Zürich, Zürich Switzerland on Thursday, March 24, 2005
Received this today from AKG - thanks! Will read soon...

Journal Entry 12 by nice-cup-of-tea from Zürich, Zürich Switzerland on Tuesday, March 29, 2005
Reading questions from web

I'd agree with both Beebarf and AKG - I won't try and better AKS's synoposis! I was also always flicking to the family tree at the front!

I really enjoyed the book, I thought the writing was exceptional - warm, perceptive, descriptive. This really is a book that tells the female side of the story, history from her point of view, ie the outsider, the one without power. Having said that, this story illustrated the different power that the women had, particuarly with reference to the skills of the midwives. It also celebrated their relationships and friendships, but also the jealousy between wives. I thought it was a really uplifting story of women's uniqueness, power and life. Stayed up late last night to finish it - one of those books that you just don't want to end. Just going to go to the original source (Genesis 34) to read the male account of Dinah's history!

Journal Entry 13 by nice-cup-of-tea from Zürich, Zürich Switzerland on Tuesday, March 29, 2005
Sorry, one more comment!

If you go to this link on Amazon, you can hear Anita Diamant talking about the Red Tent - very cool!

Gooner, can you PM me your address please? I've sent you a couple of messages. I'm worried they're not getting through!



Journal Entry 14 by nice-cup-of-tea from Zürich, Zürich Switzerland on Tuesday, April 05, 2005
The red tent is now winging its way back to Gooner!
Sent via economy post from Switzerland 5th April

Journal Entry 15 by Gooner from March, Cambridgeshire United Kingdom on Monday, April 25, 2005
This arrived safely a couple of weeks ago. Apologies to nice-cup-of-tea who is still anxious about whether it arrived. I was so sure I'd acknowledged safe arrival that I put the book back onto my shelf.

Sorry! Thanks so much for returning it to me.

I hope to read it myself quite soon, unless anyone else wants it first?

Journal Entry 16 by abrokenstarr from Reading, Berkshire United Kingdom on Thursday, June 16, 2005
Oooh! This arrived this morning, I am already itching to get reading! :) First 'catch' for me, so I'm doubly chuffed!

Journal Entry 17 by abrokenstarr from Reading, Berkshire United Kingdom on Friday, July 15, 2005
Well, I will make the month limit... I thought I had gone over it.

Anyway, I quite enjoyed this book and found that many elements of it were familiar. The story based on the story of Jacob's daughter Dinah was sometimes touching, sometimes infuriating - as I wanted to slap various members for doing the wrong thing.

I got a little bit lost towards the end. I'm not sure if it was due to moving house and being unable to locate it for a week, or whether it was down to the story, but I just lost enthusiasm for it as events plowed towards the end.

Nonetheless I would recommend the book.

Will try to post this on to Normy tomorrow.

Journal Entry 18 by abrokenstarr at Book Relay in Book Relay, A Book Relay -- Controlled Releases on Saturday, July 16, 2005

Released 13 yrs ago (7/16/2005 UTC) at Book Relay in Book Relay, A Book Relay -- Controlled Releases

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Sent in the post to Normy second class.

Journal Entry 19 by Normy from Morecambe, Lancashire United Kingdom on Wednesday, July 20, 2005
Just received today along with another bookring book, Brick Lane, (both set up by Gooner) - how to decide which to read first?! Maybe I'll alternate :o)

I'm finishing another bookring first, then this and Brick Lane are next.

Journal Entry 20 by Normy from Morecambe, Lancashire United Kingdom on Wednesday, July 27, 2005
Well, once I'd started this there was no question of alternating - I could hardly put it down. I was up until 6am reading it.

This is from the front of the book:

'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 story 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.'

This is Anita Diamant's first novel - her other works have been journalism and books about 'contemporary Jewish life'. I don't normally get this excited about novels, but this is the second of two good ones recently (the other being The English Patient), and probably one of the most enjoyable pieces of fiction I have read.

Diamant has really done her homework about what life must have been like for women of that era. It really brings the Bible stories to life - the laughter, tears, jealousies, friendships. Each woman is given her own unique character, as are the men, but the women are the focus. I wonder what made her choose the story of Dinah? Perhaps it's ~because~ so little is known about her - maybe it was easier to write a novel.

The Bible often seemed to me to be very matter of fact, or else blatantly euphemistic. Bits were missed out that probably didn't need explaining at the time, but now are essential to understanding the way of life. Living in tents, herding, husbandry, sharing a husband, customs of the time, even the way people worshipped their gods and the whole culture of god and goddess worship at the time. From reading the Bible I could get the impression that the Judeo-Christian God was the main god in that culture, and there were a few tribes here and there that worshipped idols. But that's because it's the story of the Judeo-Christian God, and not a historical account.

I don't think you'll get much religious renewal from this book though, if that is what you're after, as this is the other way round from how I've described the Bible - it's about what everyday life was like, rather than about God. If your scripture is the Bible it could enhance your readings, but it's certainly no impediment to the reader not to be of any particular religious persuasion. Bear in mind it's not 'historical' but a novel based on elements of Genesis. (Thanks for the tip about which chapter Dinah is in - I read that first).

~Do~ read this book, Gooner, it really helps the Genesis stories come alive and gives the people in it their voice, and their faces come alive, you see their clothes, their homes - wow!. I'm now searching out other novels like this of other Bible stories as I'd like to read some more along these lines (and more Anita Diamant fiction too), and I'm a Buddhist!

Back to Gooner? Or awaiting another person to be added to the ring?

Journal Entry 21 by Normy from Morecambe, Lancashire United Kingdom on Wednesday, August 17, 2005
On its way to Pookledo shortly.

Journal Entry 22 by Pookledo from Loughborough, Leicestershire United Kingdom on Wednesday, August 24, 2005
Received in the post yesterday. Thankyou!

Journal Entry 23 by Pookledo from Loughborough, Leicestershire United Kingdom on Wednesday, September 21, 2005
I've never given a book ten out of ten before, so I guess this is a first!

I found the amount of names a little difficult to get to grips with to begin with, but the family tree at the start of the book was great to have as a reference and made everything fine.

I love reading books where you learn something and this one taught me many things. I didn't know any of the cuture about the red tent before and women "being banished to the edge of the village" every month always seemed quite a cruel act, but I understand much more about it now.

I also enjoyed reading the book and then noticing that I knew some of the names and stories from my childhood from when I went to school and learnt little stories from the bible. To have them weave together with the story of Dinah was so great!

I've got scotsbookie's postal address, so I'll get it moving ASAP.

Journal Entry 24 by scotsbookie from Peebles, Scotland United Kingdom on Friday, September 23, 2005
Thanks Pookledo the book arrived this morning. I've got a few rings/rays with me at the moment but will get to this as soon as possible!

Journal Entry 25 by scotsbookie from Peebles, Scotland United Kingdom on Monday, October 10, 2005
I really enjoyed Dinah's story. As others have said the family tree at the front helped me to keep track of all the names.

I was fascinated with all the details Anita Diamant gave of the encampment where Dinah lived with her mothers, Jacob & her brothers.

Postal release to wyldetwo today 11 Oct 2005

Journal Entry 26 by wingwyldetwowing from Birmingham, West Midlands United Kingdom on Thursday, October 13, 2005
This was waiting for me when I got home from work today, thanks scotsbookie (and Gooner of course!).

This is going second on my TBR pile, am looking forward to reading it after all the good reviews it's had from everyone.

Journal Entry 27 by wingwyldetwowing from Birmingham, West Midlands United Kingdom on Tuesday, October 25, 2005
Well what can I say about this book that hasn't already been said?

A totally absorbing read that completely draws you into Dinah's world. It had me getting the Bible off the bookshelf this morning for the first time in years and leafing through the book of Genesis!

Thanks for sharing Chris, hope you enjoy it too when you finally get to read it!

Now waiting to see if there are any more takers for the ring ........

Journal Entry 28 by wingwyldetwowing from Birmingham, West Midlands United Kingdom on Saturday, December 17, 2005
As Gooner is not ready to have this book back yet, I have offered the ring to the BCBirmingham people, and have had one taker so far, caroline080. I will be sending the book on soon ....

Journal Entry 29 by wingwyldetwowing from Birmingham, West Midlands United Kingdom on Saturday, January 07, 2006
Finally sent on to caroline080 today, sorry but it got tidied away over Christmas!

Journal Entry 30 by carocharlton from Birmingham, West Midlands United Kingdom on Wednesday, January 11, 2006
Received in the post from WyldeTwo. Many thanks.

I was brought up on Bible stories so the context was familiar, but it's a wonderful story from a different point of view. Even inspired me to re-read Genesis ch. 34 and the chapters before and after.

Journal Entry 31 by carocharlton from Birmingham, West Midlands United Kingdom on Thursday, February 02, 2006
Now in the post, on its way to Angellica.

Journal Entry 32 by angellica from Worksop, Nottinghamshire United Kingdom on Saturday, February 04, 2006
Received today :)

Thanks for sharing

Journal Entry 33 by angellica from Worksop, Nottinghamshire United Kingdom on Tuesday, June 20, 2006
I finished this book last week and I've been trying to get my thoughts together. I loved this book. I felt drawn in by Dinah's voice. I

Gooner, I hope you don't mind, I re-offered this on BCUK as it was on it's last leg and there are two further participants.

Valer1e
Candy-is-dandy

please let me know

Journal Entry 34 by angellica from Worksop, Nottinghamshire United Kingdom on Sunday, July 02, 2006
Given to valer1e at the unconvention 1.7.06

Journal Entry 35 by Versavisa from Chalfont St Peter, Buckinghamshire United Kingdom on Sunday, July 02, 2006
Thanks angellica - handed over at the Unconvention. Looks good and will put it in the foothils of Mount TBR.

Journal Entry 36 by Versavisa from Chalfont St Peter, Buckinghamshire United Kingdom on Monday, July 31, 2006
I know most people have enjoyed this but I just couldn't get on with it.

I just didn't see them as real people at all and found it very hard to relate to them. I felt like it had been translated several times and the meanings of words had been lost.

I do like historical novels, and history too, for that matter, but this one was very tedious.

Hope you enjoy it more than I did candy-is-dandy as it will be on its way to you today.

Journal Entry 37 by wingcandy-is-dandywing from Great Bardfield, Essex United Kingdom on Friday, August 04, 2006
Received from valer1e. I'm really looking forward to reading this book. Thanks for sharing it Gooner (will you ever get round to reading it?)

Journal Entry 38 by wingcandy-is-dandywing from Great Bardfield, Essex United Kingdom on Sunday, June 17, 2007
I've had this tooo long but have finally read it. A book about nomads that has sat in one place for almost a year - tut tut!

I really enjoyed this, a well-known biblical tale, seen from a completely different perspective and expanded into a fascinating story. I liked the playing down of the Joseph story and particularly his coloured coat which was dealt with in one paragraph.

I agree with others that the end of the book seemed to get bit lost but in the main I liked the descriptions of Dinah's family's way of life and the red tent.

Thanks for sharing gooner. You may have to have this back now and read it yourself!!

Journal Entry 39 by Gooner at March, Cambridgeshire United Kingdom on Tuesday, August 23, 2011
Because of unforeseen space & time restrictions, I have had to donate BC books which I registered years ago to charity shops. This is one of them.

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