The is the story of Dinah, the only girl born to Jacob who also fathered Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Judah, Dan, Naphtali, Gad, Asher, Isaachar, Zebulun, Joseph (of the coat of many colours, yes, it gets a mention) and later Benjamin, the twelve tribes, by his two wives (sisters) and their slave-girls. When she grows up, Dinah falls for a handsome Hivite prince call Shechem and they sleep together. Simeon and Levi demand that all the Hivites be circumcised, which they agree to, and then "two days later, while they were still in great pain" Simeon and Levi massacre the Hivites, including Shechem, and take Dinah back. That seems to be the last of Dinah in the Biblical account but in this book she curses her family and flees with her husband's mother to Egypt where she has her husband's child and more adventures until she dies. All in all it is not a flattering portrait of the start of the chosen people.
There are bits of this book which are a bit blockbuster-like: there is a large cast, many of whom cannot be fully characterised, and a lot of action. Dinah becomes a midwife, like her aunty Rachel, and there is a lot of menstruation and childbirth; there is a strong femininist perspective about this book. It was well written but there were parts where I struggled to stay interested.
July 2016; 384 pages
- Having reviewed over 1100 books on this blog, I have now written one myself. Motherdarling is a story about a search for a missing Will which reveals long-hidden family secrets. It is available on Kindle through Amazon. Read it and find out whether this critic can write. I live in Canterbury, England. I lived for more than thirty years in Bedford. Having retired from teaching; I became a research student at the University of Bedfordshire researching into Liminality. I achieved my PhD in 2019. I am now properly retired. I love reading! I enjoy in particular fiction (mostly great and classic fiction although I also enjoy whodunnits), biography, history and smart thinking. Follow me on twitter: @daja57