Saturday, June 30, 2012

Book Review: The Red Tent

The Red Tent by Anita Diamant

I wanted to LOOOOVE this book. I really did. I went in with a misguided view of what this books is about. I thought it was all about the "perks" of being a woman: menstruation and childbirth.

I wish I had gone into it knowing that's not all it was about. I wish it wasn't called "the red tent" because it is so much more than that. I feel like the title caused me to be misled.

I had a difficult time getting into this book. I believe this is due to a few factors: 1. I don't like reading books with unusual names, I hate trying to figure out how to pronounce it and my OCD makes me stop and read the name each time it is printed. And then each time I get pissed because I don't know if I'm pronouncing it correctly. (OK, that is my issue only, I realize.) 2. The beginning was full of family lineage and it was annoying me trying to remember who was who and how they are connected, etc. 3. Due to the trouble of the first two issues, I really needed to concentrate on the book and that is near impossible when hearing "Mom! Look!," "Mom! Watch this!"

So, this book took me longer than most to get through. All through the book I kept persevering. I would get caught up in the story, and then get annoyed at the injustices of being a woman and then the awesomeness of being a woman.  And then I'd wonder about the bible story of Dinah. Admittedly, I know nothing of it. (Also, is her name pronounced DEE-nah or DIE-nah?!)

Did I like this book? Yes, but it is not what I thought it would be. I guess I just had a difficult time letting go of my preconceived notions; once I did, I enjoyed it. (As an aside, why can't I just read a book for pleasure, why does everything have to be a problem with me?!)

I was sad when the book, and Dinah's life, ended. I came away with a few thoughts:
  •  No matter the time period, it is difficult to be a woman.
  • I am glad I am not sharing a husband with my sisters.
  • My daughter and I probably would have both died during her birth.
  • Tampons are awesome.

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