Snapshots - #37: It, Breathe, Mark Felt – The Man Who Brought Down the White House

It (2017), (♦♦♦♦): Four inseparable friends in middle school bond with other three newcomers. They all have in common that they are bullied by the same people. Over the course of one summer they'll fend off bullies and face a centuries-old demon in the form of a clown, named Pennywise, whom has been disappearing kids and terrorizing the town of Derry, Maine, every twenty-seven years since the town was founded.
Based on Stephen King's novel of the same title, It is a movie with a smart script and a sympathetic ensemble of nerds that deliver light humor, and deep thrills. It doesn't hurt that each and every character has his or her own arc, thus one gets to know their motivations and fears before Pennywise enters head on into the picture.
In a nod to 1980s movie classics such as The Goonies, and the Brat Pack ensemble, the newest adaptation of It takes place at the end of that decade, when it seems, at least from the Hollywood perspective, that every kid harbored a genius insi…

The Red Tent by Anita Diamant (♦♦♦♦½)

Dinah, daughter of Leah and Jacob, granddaughter of Rebecca and Isaac, daughter-niece of Rachel, Bilhah and Zilpah, was the only female child among Jacob’s wives, who had in total eleven boys. It wasn’t random then that her mother and mother-aunties doted on her, making her a part of the rituals happening inside The Red Tent, place where women spent their menstrual cycles isolated from men.

The Red Tent was a place for celebration—of femininity, childbirth, and subsequent recuperation. Women who entered it had to be of a fertile age. No wonder it was a secret that Dinah couldn’t share with her grandmother that she attended the Red Tent since she was a child.

It is described in Genesis, that Dinah was a victim of rape for which her brothers sought restitution. Anita Diamant aims to explore Dinah’s story from her perspective, giving voice to an alternative yet plausible event in Dinah’s life and that of her family, for the course of their lives was forever altered by this experience.

The Red Tent recounts Jacob’s wives’ stories, Dinah’s birth and childhood, the tragedy she underwent and what happened after.

I promised to read The Red Tent by Anita Diamant when I reviewed Exiles by Ron Hansen because of the religious themes in both novels. I took a trip to a Barnes & Noble bookstore last year and discovered this book quite by chance because it was placed on the shelf next to The Art Forger by B.A. Shapiro, which caught my eye. The front cover of The Red Tent advertised that it was the "10th anniversary edition", which usually indicates that a book has been a sensation at some point in the past. Lucky find, I say!

In The Red Tent, Anita Diamant brings to life the biblical world of Genesis, in all its sweeping glory. In it violence isn't gratuitous, though it is recurrent.

A sisterhood of women emerges through women's life cycles: childhood, mensis, motherhood. The world of the Red Tent is one of shared secrets, bitter rivalries, adoration of idols, magic, enchantment, and prophecies: fulfilled or otherwise; it is also the place where pain is not only borne physically but deep inside.

The story of Dinah reinvented by Diamant is one of great sorrow, laced with amazing interludes of female bonding, devotion and deep love. From The Red Tent emerges the image of loving, strong, resilient women who, in spite of living in a world governed by men, shape their lives and those whom they share them with.

While I was reading I could only marvel at this work of creative genius, because it takes courage to add missing pieces to the most read text in the world since the invention of the printing press. Anita Diamant has not only added to the Bible, but she has put together those missing pieces of what means to be a woman, with its challenges and triumphs.


  1. Great review Carmen! I loved this book.

    1. Thanks, Judy. I did love it very much too.

  2. Great review. Not sure I would like the book, though.

    Thanks for sharing.

    Stopping by from Carole's Books You Loved November Edition. I am in the list as #5.

    My book entry is below.

    Silver's Reviews
    My Book Entry

    1. Too bad you think you wouldn't like it. It is far "gentler" than it seems based on my review.
      Thanks for stopping by, Elizabeth.


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