Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Partial Review: The Red Tent

I haven’t really posted book reviews unless I have something particularly good to say about the book, but I decided I just want to be honest with my opinion. I don’t want to get too controversial or upset anyone who may have loved a book I didn’t. I realize we all have different tastes and sensibilities. I just want to share my opinion, and I’d love to hear yours if you have one.

As a preface to this review, I went into reading this book knowing that it was a historical fiction. And because of that, I made it a point NOT to read the portion of the bible portrayed just before reading the book so I could enjoy it for the fiction that it is without comparing it to the story and fussing over details. That being said, I think there still ought to be some level of reverence put into writing about biblical times, even if it’s for a fun work of fiction.

Without further ado, here is my honest review of the portion I read:

The Red TentThe Red Tent by Anita Diamant
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

I was supposed to read this for book club, but I am just done! I normally have a compulsion to finish a book even if it’s terrible because you just never know if it could turn around and get better. I have no such hope for this book.

Each time I set the book down, I just felt uncomfortable. I kept weighing my options whether I wanted to miss out on socializing with my friends at book club so I wouldn’t have to finish it. Finally, I decided that a book that gives me that many second thoughts just isn’t worth my time—especially when I have so many good books I want to read with so little time to do it!

What’s wrong with this book? Well, in my opinion, the story was just way too sexualized. I only made it through 66 pages of the book, and I’m ashamed to admit I read that far. I understand that there was a lot of sex in the bible, but the bible certainly doesn’t take the time to describe each individual experience like this book did. I can only suppose that it was a New York Times bestseller for one reason: sex sells. I certainly don’t want to have those images and descriptions in my head the next time I read the bible!

I also agree with other reviews of this book that said they disliked how Jacob didn’t teach his wives about Jehovah, and they continued to worship idols. And I didn’t find Jacob to be nearly as faithful and devout as I would have liked him to be portrayed. I’m not going to continue reading this book. Maybe someone can let me know if I gave up after the worst part and it was actually worth finishing. I doubt it, but I’d be interested to know.

Have you read part or all of this book? What did you think? All opinions are welcome here; let’s just keep it a civil discussion, please.

4 comments:

  1. I struggled through Part 1 "My Mothers' Stories" for the same reason. Ugh. But it got better after that. So I'd say, yes, you gave up amidst the worst part. I held out because of all the high ratings it has on Goodreads, including from several friends. I'm about 3/4 of the way through it at this point. It doesn't ever become a happy story (so far anyway, tho I hear it ends sad as well) so I don't know what I'll think by the end. I definitely agree with your review of the first part though... It'll make an interesting book club, that's for sure!

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  2. Good for you! We need to guard our minds and hearts.

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  3. I ran across your blog through google trying to find a tutorial for a baby carrier cover. Anyways this post made me so happy! My MIL who I admire for her strong testimony and great taste in books told me I should read it cause it had some really good things in it regarding women and the old testament and I gave up probably around the same time you did and gave it back to her. She then proceeded to reread it to see what I was talking about and claims she just blocks that stuff out?!? Anyways I am glad I am not the only person out here that felt the same way about that book.

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  4. Thanks for your comment, Crystal! I'm glad you found my blog.

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