Study Guide

The Red Tent Tough-o-Meter

By Anita Diamant


(4) Base Camp

All right, folks, even if you're not a religion buff, you can still read this book without much trouble. Though it's based on the Book of Genesis, you don't actually need any knowledge of the Bible to follow along. This book is fiction, and it stands on its own. Everything you need to know is already here.

Overall, the writing is clean and can easily understood. This isn't Shakespeare, and it's not like things doth make no sense.

But beware—there are some things about this novel that will make it tough for some. Specifically, this is the kind of book that will make the squeamish, well, squeam.

The red tent of the title is where women go to bleed, and in that red tent, there are some pretty disturbing stories told. Mostly, these are stories about childbirth. Now, some people might find childbirth fascinating and beautiful, but others might find it disgusting and horrifying. Want to know all the details of exactly what happens during birth? You're gonna get them.

Diamant also gives us accounts of miscarriages and women dying during birth, on top of the already pretty graphic scenes of babies being born.