The Red Tent: A Novel

By Anita Diamant

Her identify is Dinah. within the Bible, her existence is barely hinted at in a quick and violent detour in the extra usual chapters of the publication of Genesis which are approximately her father, Jacob, and his dozen sons.

Told in Dinah's voice, this novel unearths the traditions and turmoils of historical womanhood-the global of the purple tent. It starts with the tale of her mothers-Leah, Rachel, Zilpah, and Bilhah-the 4 better halves of Jacob. They love Dinah and provides her presents which are to maintain her via a broken adolescence, a calling to midwifery, and a brand new domestic in a overseas land. Dinah's tale reaches out from a impressive interval of early heritage and creates an intimate, rapid connection.

Deeply affecting, The purple Tent combines wealthy storytelling with a priceless success in glossy fiction: a brand new view of Biblical women's society.

*© 1997

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As Rachel left to wait a start in a close-by camp, Leah made a few excuse approximately fetching water and rushed her steps till she was once at Rachel’s aspect. Leah’s cheeks burned and she or he solid her eyes downward as she requested her sister to assist her as she had helped Ruti. Rachel stunned her with the gentleness of her solution. “Do now not cast off your daughter,” she stated. “You are sporting a woman. ” “Then she's going to die,” Leah responded, contemplating Rachel’s miscarriages. (Inna had said all of them women. ) “And no matter if she lives, she is going to now not be aware of her mom, simply because i'm approximately lifeless from bearing.

He awakened each morning, sweating, his intercourse aroused. He could roll off his blanket and squirm at the flooring till he may stand with out embarrassment. Zilpah watched because the triangle of Jacob, Rachel, and Leah grew right into a wedge she may perhaps use. For up to she enjoyed Leah, Zilpah had by no means cared for the stunning Rachel. (That’s what Zilpah regularly referred to as her—“Ah, and right here comes the stunning Rachel,” she might say, vinegar in her voice. ) She knew there wasn’t a lot she may do to prevent Jacob from turning into the relatives patriarch, and certainly she was once as impatient for kids as each person else.

She went to the purple tent on the new moon and altered the straw as if she had dirty it. She was once so slim that the moderate thickening of her waist went overlooked through every body yet Bilhah, who saved her personal assistance. on the fourth month, Rachel went to Inna, who informed her that the symptoms appeared solid for this boy, and Rachel started to desire. She confirmed her swelling abdominal to her sisters, who danced in a circle round her. She placed Jacob’s hand at the hillock of her womb. the daddy of ten sons wept. Rachel grew swaybacked.

I assumed she used to be out of her mind,” acknowledged Judah. “But she foresaw our assembly. Our mom by no means forgot you, and even though Jacob forbade it, she stated you each day until eventually she died. “Take this from our mom, Leah. and will you recognize peace,” he stated, urgent whatever in my hand ahead of jogging away, his head hung low. I appeared right down to see Rachel’s lapis ring, Jacob’s first reward to her. first and foremost i assumed to name Judah again and ask him why my mom had despatched me the token of Jacob’s love for her sister. yet after all, he may haven't any approach of understanding.

I clung to my husband like a wild factor these nights, and tears ran down my face at the same time I reached higher pleasures than prior to. My husband licked the water from my cheeks and ran his salty tongue the size of my physique. “I will tease you approximately this while our first son is born,” he whispered, as I lay on his chest, nonetheless shaking with chilly. The appointed hour arrived. Shalem left me at sunrise. I stayed in mattress, pretending to sleep, gazing him wash and get dressed via closed eyes. He leaned right down to kiss me, yet i didn't flip my stand up to meet his lips.

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