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.


  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!

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

  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.

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


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