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Seeking Christian opinion on The Red Tent by Biamant

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:iagree: with Faith.

Have you read Angela Elwell Hunt's books Legacies of the Ancient River (series of three books), or Francine River's Mark of the Lion


Those are excellent!

As for The Red Tent, I found it kind of annoying as the author seemed to have huge issues with men and (I felt) took it out on the characters in the story.


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I don't mind historical fiction based around Biblical characters as long as it honors the truths of Biblical text.


Anyone have an opinion on this one?






There were three main sections to the novel. The first could have been read as corresponding to the biblical account, the second deviated a fair amount (sort of posed itself as the true account of what had happened), the third was pure conjecture and had some sections I thought ran directly contrary to the biblical account (especially with regard to the depiction of Joseph).


So if you're looking for interesting biblical fiction, this is probably a book to pass on as a Christian (I've also seen some Jewish boards where it is critiqued negatively).


At the time that it was a fresh book, I was glad to have read it and discussed it with a critical eye. I have several friends who thought that it was a straightforward fictionalization of the Bible story. It was good to be able to talk to them about the differences between the Bible account and the modern novel. But I don't know that I'd bother now since it is now about a decade old.

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I barely started it before I quit in frustration at the lack of biblical accuracy. That really annoys me. When I read a fictionalized account of a bible story, I want to imagine what it really might have been like. It is too difficult to do that if the story is way off.

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I read this many years ago and really enjoyed the story. Yes, it is outlandish. Yes, it is fiction. I was drawn in by the relationships between the women in the story. There is so little said about these female characters in the Bible that it is sort of the authors fantasy of what might have happened or what was the women's side of the story. It actually made me want to go back and read and study that section of the Bible again.

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It's been awhile, but let me try to remember.


Naturally, this book does not stick to the Scriptural account, it merely uses it as groundwork.


There are things in the book that it addresses that I thoroughly enjoyed: the relationships between the women, the natural consequences of emotion and action based on their familial situation, the unity of women even when in conflict with eachother (kind of like here!), etc.


There are things that I disagreed with in the book, where the author took one part of Scripture and made a presumption: some believe that Rachel stole her father's gods to have them for herself (because she was still a follower) and some believe that Rachel stole her father's gods to remove them from him (an attempt to change his position). I don't swing either way on this one, but possibly somewhere in the middle. I think it's reaching in either direction and the author definitely overreaches on the matter. But in the process, she does reveal certain feminine pagan practices and thought (definitely a separation from Scripture).


I do agree with the assessment of the author's attitude towards men from above. She sets the entire novel as a men vs women type. There is never a cohesion between the two in the novel and that simply bugged me as it's not realistic and is in fact destructive thinking in my opinion.

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I wasn't so much concerned about the reinterpretation of the Biblical story -- I was *expecting* fiction, and that was fine -- I just didn't like the book. I did finish it, but was pretty thoroughly disgusted by the whole thing. I thought it was preachy in the extreme.

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I didn't like it.


There's one I read about Zipporah - Moses' wife, that was very good. But, I can't remember the name of it.


eta: It's called Zipporah, Wife of Moses by Marek Halter. It was very good I thought.

Edited by TXMomof4
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I read the book and enjoyed. I can see where Christians (those who take Scripture literally) would not appreciate it. If you could read it as fiction, that would be okay. I did feel the author 'lost it' in the last part of the book. The first part was best imo.



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I found it disturbing. I liked that it was trying to portray the Biblical women, and the relationships were interesting.


But I did NOT like the taking of Biblical 'heroes' (even scoundrelly ones) and making them into total scum I would be calling the cops on if they lived in my neighborhood. I consider that slander (libel?) personally, when I see such a horrible portrayal of someone who's not around to defend himself.


I also thought it very graphic, some of which was probably accurate and some of which I think the author just threw in.


I will say, I was the *only* person in our ladies' reading group at church who disliked it or had any problems at all. One woman tried to convince me that some aspects were 'really how they treated women back then, and how the men behaved'. Perhaps so ... but I don't like books where they speculate what the shepherds might be up to with the sheep out in the fields. :/


I would've thrown it away, but I hated to waste the money. I swapped it at the local book reseller.

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