Monday, July 6, 2009

Happy Endings

Well we have finished The Red Tent and had our meeting. Our turnout was pretty low but I have received lots of feedback from those who were unable to attend the meeting and they have told me how much they really enjoyed the book.

Well in blogging we left off at the last part of the book as Dinah's journey takes us to Egypt. Here she goes to Egypt with the mother of her dead lover. She is pregnant. Things don't turn out quite like Dinah would have liked it to with her son but she accepts what is to be and begins the job as a midwife with a good friend. She eventually meets a man and she realizes the love he has for her and her for him. They marry but bits of her past creep back up thankfully not damaging the relationship. I think that this is my favorite part of the book where we get to learn about how she eventually found love, happiness and contentment. So as the past creeps back in, Dinah's son happens to work for Joseph in Egypt. None of them know the connections to each other until Dinah is at the home of Joseph and all is revealed through some conversations. It is not a happy reunion between the two and they part ways so that Dinah can go home. She finally feels free to tell her story and is better having told her son the truth of her story. This part is of course left out of the bible. We do see a little bit of the reunion of Joseph with his brothers from his point of view that he gives Dinah but Dinah is never mentioned in this part of the bible. Dinah travels with Joseph back to see Jacob before he dies and learns what becomes of the rest of her family and receives closure. She returns to her husband and as I like to say lives happily ever after, free from her past.

Overall I liked the story pretty well but wish some things that didn't need to be changed from the bible hadn't been. I think that story of Dinah in Egypt is my favorite part because I like the fact that she found love later and had a so called happy ending. In talking with the gals at the book club we were trying to decide the following question, "Why do you think Dinah's story (however brief) was shared with us in the Bible?" None of us seemed to have a real clear opinion, Do you know or have a thought you can add to that question? I would love to hear your thoughts. One of our gals made a great point in the reason for the book, LC mentioned how(correct me if I get it wrong), "The book reminds us how important time spent in the red tent is for women even today. We must remember how important bonding time with women is for mothers-daughters, sisters and friends."

I thought the point LC made was great for an overall point to make when recommending the book. Again I encourage you to go back and read Genesis starting at chapter 29 till the end of Genesis to get the real story. We had some discussion questions that we talked about at the meeting that I have posted a few below in case you want to share any of your thoughts. I got them from this source and this source if you want to go to those pages. I look forward to reading The Hiding Place with you and hope that you enjoyed The Red Tent. I apologize that the commentary was low on this book but that may happen from time to time. Please bare with me and keep on reading!

Discussion Questions:
1. How The Red Tent changes your perspective on Dinah’s story and also on the story of Joseph that follows. Does The Red Tent raise questions about other women in the Bible? Discuss the marital dynamics of Jacob’s family. He has four wives; compare his relationship with each woman? What do you make of the relationships among the four wives?
2. Female relationships figure largely in The Red Tent. Discuss the importance of Inna, Tabea, Werenro, and Meryt.
3. Each month the women go to the red tent. What is the significance of the red tent? What activities take place there? "Every woman is a creature of the red tent ... we are all born of the same mother." Is the women's isolation in the tent a positive experience?
4. Why do you think Diamant changed the rape of Dinah in Genesis 34 to a love affair in The Red Tent?
5. In The Red Tent, we see Dinah grow from childhood to old age. Discuss how she changes and matures. What lessons does she learn from life? If you had to pick a single word to describe the sum of her life, what word would you choose? How would Dinah describe her own life experience?

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