If you love the HBO series The Handmaid’s Tale then you really need to read the book by Margaret Atwood. But if you are already past that point then I have the next book for you: The Red Tent by Anita Diamond!
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The gist is that The Red Tent is a historical-biblical fiction story based on the family of Jacob and his Twelve Sons. The story centers around the patriarch’s only daughter, Dinah. But what many people don’t know is that all those creepy lines like, “May the Lord open” or “Praise Be,” from The Handmaid’s Tale are actually biblically based from this story in particular. I mean the handmaid’s get their education at the Rachel and Leah Center…those are the names of the two sister-wives of Jacob.
Genesis 30: 1-4 (King James Version)
And when Rachel saw that she bare Jacob no children, Rachel envied her sister; and said unto Jacob, “Give me children, or else I die.” And Jacob’s anger was kindled against Rachel: and he said, “Am I in God’s stead, who hath withheld from thee the fruit of the womb?”
And she said, Behold my maid Bilhah, go in unto her; and she shall bear upon my knees, that I may also have children by her. And she gave him Bilhah her handmaid to wife: and Jacob went in unto her.
Read more: Book Review! The Handmaid’s Tale
Personally, I am super interested in Biblical stories, especially Genesis, but even if you’re not a literary biblical fanatic like me, it’s still interesting to see how The Handmaid’s Tale is really a crazy pseudo-Biblical dystopia. And The Red Tent is a fantastic biblical-fiction novel that bridges Genesis and Gilead.
Blessed be the Fruit, ladies.