June 13, 2010

The Red Tent

After I finished reading not that well written "Lovely Bones" my colleague suggested me to read Anita Diamant's "The Red Tent". Now I am glad to have read this books in this order. If the book "Lovely Bones" is dedicated to women who are missing among us, "The Red Tent" is devoted to women, giver of life.

Dinah is a Jacob's daughter. In Bible itself there are not many details about her, but author of the book gives her a voice. Now Dinah can tell us fascinating story of her and her mothers. You are transferred in unfamiliar world, but soon you find yourself in the story and forget all about your surrounding.

I love reading this book, because it is full of inspirations, wisdom and beauty. Right at the very beginning first sentence made me dream and think about the stranger, who was saying her name meant nothing to me. I thought how beautiful it sounded. How poetic, how creative. I hear some magic in it, more than words. But author had still many inspiring and interesting things to say:

“My name means nothing to you. My memory is dust. This is not your fault, or mine. The chain connecting mother to daughter was broken and the word passed to the keeping of men, who had no way of knowing. That is why I became a footnote, my story a brief detour between the well-known history of my father, Jacob, and the celebrated chronicle of Joseph, my brother. On those rare occasions when I was remembered, it was as a victim. Near the beginning of your holy book, there is a passage that seems to say I was raped and continues with the bloody tale of how my honor was avenged. It’s a wonder that any mother ever called a daughter Dinah again. But some did. Maybe you guessed that there was more to me than the voiceless cipher in the text. Maybe you heard it in the music of my name: the first vowel high and clear, as when a mother calls to her child at dusk; the second soft, for whispering secrets on pillows. Dee-nah. No one recalled my skill as a midwife, or the songs I sang, or the bread I baked for my insatiable brothers. Nothing remained except a few mangled details about those weeks in Schechem. There was far more to tell.”

"sometimes I wonder if the gods are dreams and stories to while away cold nights and dark thoughts."

"Every morning brought a new wonder"

""Idiots. All of them," she said, and spit into the dust." ~ the red tent, chapter three

"And yet it was no dream, as the morning chill made us shiver."

"[I saw] women covered in black robes and slave girls who wore nothing at all."

"in my dreams I saw sunlight sparkling on water and I awoke smiling."

"The painful things ... seemed like the knots on a beautiful necklace."

"My worthlessness imprisoned me"

"why did I not know that birth is the pinnacle where women discover the courage to become mothers?"

"...and I was bound to the emptiness of the story she told"

"Whether the world was a different place now that her place in it was different."

"Past can threaten your future."

While reading "The Red Tent" I lived a life full of pain, straggle, love, human kindness, hope and relieve. I saw myself as a woman differently and I became more proud of who I was, more aware of what I could do in this world. "The Red Tent" left me full of inspirations and something tells me it will stay with me forever. If "forever" sounds too strong for you, at least Book inspired me for making this beautiful cover. It's me :)

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