Her name is Dinah. In the Bible, her life is only hinted at in a brief and violent detour within the more familiar chapters of the book of Genesis that are about her father, Jacob, and his dozen sons. Told in Dinah’s voice, this novel reveals the traditions and turmoils of ancient womanhood — the world of the red tent.
The story revolves around her mothers Leah, Rachel, Zilpah and Bilhah, the four wives of Jacob, and shows how each one molded and shaped Dinah’s life. They love her, and it is their influence that sustains her through a hard-working youth, a calling to midwifery, barbaric tragedy and, eventually, happiness in a new home in a foreign land.
The bond of womanhood that exists in the “red tent” and the sanctity that the women attribute to the power of procreation is a laudable aspect of this book. However, I would venture to say that the author took MUCH artistic license in her depictions of the prophets from the Old Testament [Jacob, Joseph and Isaac]. In the Bible, they are depicted as righteous men chosen by God to teach and lead. In this book, they are base, weak and carnal. Even so, the story and writing itself are fascinating.
Rated: High. SEXUAL CONTENT. There is a lot of it. Normally, I would have given up, but the story itself was too enthralling that I couldn’t. There are passing mentions of the male anatomy, bestiality, parental/spousal abuse, masturbation and the description of a rape scene. When said like that, it’s really rough. So I will stress… I NEARLY PUT IT DOWN. I will not let my children or sisters near this book. No language and mild violence.