Hey guys! I told you I might be a little less available as I started work. In truth, my work week wasn’t too crazy last week. I just had a couple of short training shifts, and one orientation for Banana Republic. Plus, I was trying to finish this past read so I could report back to you guys. I understand now why book reviewers get paid to write them.
OK, so, in truth, I have to say that The Red Tent by Anita Diamant was not a favorite of mine. But that is almost great, because that means that I can explore what I like and what I don’t like, and actually be a constructive critic rather than a gushy lovebug* reader.
The story is really cool for people who like the-story-of-the-lesser-known-characters-in-a-famous-story story (e.g. Gregory Maguire’s books). This one is about Old Testament Joseph’s sister and mothers. These were the days of polygamy, people. Yahweh wasn’t the recognized Almighty yet. And Joseph is only three generations down from the Ark, so the barbarians are still coming up with their gods and nature following and such. (Please note sarcasm in my tone.) Anyways, I have this recent fascination with Judaic studies, so this book was timely for me. The story is very interesting, and it really is a story of women in early Biblical times. Famous Bible stories make their appearances, but don’t take over the story, which is important. And it does paint an interesting picture of everyone, and clears up some questions too. Did you know that Rachel wasn’t Jacob’s first wife, although she was his favorite? Diamant paints an interesting, and most likely, fictional, story, of why this is. So, the overall story and plot held me to the book.
Unfortunately, the writing style didn’t keep me reading the way I usually do. I think this is because Anita Diamant is a fish out of water with fiction. She has written a few books on Judaic studies, and her attempt at fiction often reads without flow. But, I will say that it does feel Biblical in reading. Don’t worry, I don’t mean the loooong lines of lineage. I just mean that you gotta read the whole thing for the good parts! For me, each chapter had something interesting and critical to the story, but I had to read through a lot of stuff before that cool part came out. But it was worth it when the cool parts happened, especially the last 100 pages. That was cool.
I hope you appreciate my thoughts on The Red Tent. Give it a try, but I won’t force you to finish it, and I’m not going to ask if you don’t. Friends who recommended this book to me: I liked the story, but I am trying to be a grown-up critic. Please, don’t take offense. Signing off until the next one, or when something interesting happens!
*Lovebug might be my favorite term of endearment. Once, someone told me that if you broke down the syllables of my name in Japanese, it would translate to lovebug. =)