Over five years in the writing, "The Dovekeepers "is Alice Hoffman's most ambitious and mesmerizing novel, a tour de force of imagination and research, set in ancient Israel. In 70 C.E., nine hundred Jews held out for months against armies of Romans on Masada, a mountain in the Judean desert. According to the ancient historian Josephus, two women ...
Over five years in the writing, "The Dovekeepers "is Alice Hoffman's most ambitious and mesmerizing novel, a tour de force of imagination and research, set in ancient Israel. In 70 C.E., nine hundred Jews held out for months against armies of Romans on Masada, a mountain in the Judean desert. According to the ancient historian Josephus, two women and five children survived. Based on this tragic and iconic event, Hoffman's novel is a spellbinding tale of four extraordinarily bold, resourceful, and sensuous women, each of whom has come to Masada by a different path. Yael's mother died in childbirth, and her father, an expert assassin, never forgave her for that death. Revka, a village baker's wife, watched the horrifically brutal murder of her daughter by Roman soldiers; she brings to Masada her young grandsons, rendered mute by what they have witnessed. Aziza is a warrior's daughter, raised as a boy, a fearless rider and an expert marksman who finds passion with a fellow soldier. Shirah, born in Alexandria, is wise in the ways of ancient magic and medicine, a woman with uncanny insight and power. The lives of these four complex and fiercely independent women intersect in the desperate days of the siege. All are dovekeepers, and all are also keeping secrets--about who they are, where they come from, who fathered them, and whom they love. "The Dovekeepers "is Alice Hoffman's masterpiece.
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This is such an intriguing novel. It was based on a period and subject matter that is unusual to be written about and it is done so well that it takes you right there. Alice Hoffman is such an enjoyable author and she writes about many unexpected subjects. I recommend this book very highly.
Jan 30, 2014
I read this book not knowing about Masada and after finishing it I had to know more. It is the story of four different women, different ages and different backgrounds and how they wound up in Masada. Couldn't put the book down as I love history and the book was so descriptive of the living at this time in history. All the women's lives entwine with each other and make for a great book. I see it was on Oprah's book list and may be made into a movie. Great reading!
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