There are three types of women in the Bible: the ones that are named and given as much attention (well, as much attention as women get in the Bible) as the men (i.e. The Matriarchs, Esther, etc), women whose names and stories are flashed by so fast that we hardly notice them (Dinah) and women whom we only know as the daughter of ______ or the wife of _______. These women have no name, no identity, no life other than being someone’s wife or daughter.
Dinah is the youngest child and only daughter of the Biblical patriarch Jacob and his first wife, Leah. Inside the Red Tent, women are in control. The cycle of a woman’s life and the knowledge she gains is only known to the women who have access to the Red Tent. Outside, the world belongs to men. Women are mere chattel. As a young women, Dinah falls in love with Shalem, a prince of a city near which her family is staying. The response of her father and brothers to their sister’s new husband is not positive. Having no one to support her from her own family, Dinah relies on her mother in law, who takes Dinah back to her homeland.
I haven’t read this book in a long time. I forgot how good this book is. Ms. Diament’s story of a forgotten Biblical heroine whose story is overshadowed by her father’s and brothers is vivid and full of life. All of the women are full human beings with the same joys and folly’s as the rest of us.
I recommend this book.