I’ve just recently finished “The Red Tent” by Anita Diamant. The book was very enjoyable, though tedious for me at first. It was actually when I could compare the story of Jacob and his family from the Bible that the story became most interesting. I enjoyed hearing the comparisons and contrasts between the two books in their retelling of this ancient tale. One of the more notable differences between the stories was that of the religious context. The Bible presents (or so my Bible-knowing friend, Marc conveys to me) that the family of Joseph (from Isaac and Abraham, I presume) were all celebrants of God. It’s Old Testament stuff, so Judaism is appropriate here. In “The Red Tent,” the mood is decidedly pagan in nature. I believe that things would have been more pagan as Diamant has presented them. I don’t know the specific timeframe that this story is said to have occured, but God could not have been well-known throughout the regions yet. The story also speaks greatly of the near-magical powers of midwives – especially in those medically inept times. My mom is a midwife, so I can respect any empowerment her kind receive.
This isn’t the kind of book I’d typically read, but having read it I might seek out other titles by Anita Diamant. I picked it out in a hurry to pacify Balthazar at the library. As such, the hurried selection did me some good. I would definitely recommend the book to enlightened souls out there. Men and women alike, though many men may find it uncomfortable at times.