The Red Tent makes me long for all the history told from women’s points of view. What were the women doing while the men were busy showing off and starting wars? What did Cleopatra think of the world she lived in? What about Elizabeth I? Or Eleanor of Aquitaine? We don’t know much, but I wish I did.
Honestly, I don’t know enough about the Bible to be able to comment intelligently on how faithful the story is, and, in fact, I’m pretty sure I was supposed to know more about Jacob and Esau and Joseph (and his Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat) for these stories to mean more to me. But I don’t. I’m a heathen, I know.
But as a story of women living together, it was a little too sweeping to get into intimate character details – the story traces Dinah’s entire life from birth to death. You don’t really get the intricacies of, say, her mother and aunt’s relationship, even though it must have been quite the thing for two sisters to be married to the same man. The outlines of feelings are there; there’s just too much story to get to.