Theresa's Reviews > The Red Tent

The Red Tent by Anita Diamant
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's review
Aug 02, 2011

it was amazing

Beautifully written historical novel with a strong feminist perspective. Sophisticated character development draws you into the world of Dinah where polygyny is not necessarily a form of paternalistic oppression and women engage in rich traditions, tapping into and expanding their power in spheres their contemporary men couldn't fathom even if they were allowed entry.

The women in this novel do not control life and death, but they understand it and impart their wisdom to the reader. While the tragedies the characters endure are extreme, they are handled deftly by Diamant. Likewise, the joys of womanhood and motherhood are given a stature that leads the reader to question why can't we feel this way in our current lives?

Diamant makes it very clear why; to experience these joys we have to experience the grit of sorrow and pain. Sanitized births and deaths, medically, emotionally, and spiritually, make the pain less intense but also dull the joy inherent within them.

This was a powerful novel to step into; it does not leave the reader the same as when they opened the book.

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