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The Dovekeepers: A Novel by Alice Hoffman
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The Dovekeepers: A Novel (original 2011; edition 2011)

by Alice Hoffman

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1,272816,200 (3.95)181
Member:suballa
Title:The Dovekeepers: A Novel
Authors:Alice Hoffman
Info:Scribner (2011), Hardcover, 512 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:***1/2
Tags:None

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The Dovekeepers by Alice Hoffman (2011)

1st century (10) 2011 (9) 2012 (13) Ancient Israel (7) book club (10) ebook (17) family (6) fiction (126) historical (15) historical fiction (131) history (8) Israel (37) Jerusalem (7) Jewish (16) Jewish History (6) Jews (24) Judaism (19) Judea (9) Kindle (12) magic (10) magical realism (6) Masada (67) novel (10) own (7) read (9) religion (9) Romans (25) to-read (78) unread (10) women (38)
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» See also 181 mentions

English (79)  Dutch (2)  All languages (81)
Showing 1-5 of 79 (next | show all)
I liked and learned so much from this historical novel that I bought it after reading the library copy. While I generally don't enjoy novels with unhappy endings [and let's face it - the history of Masada ends in tragedy], the characters and their individual stories were fascinating. We have so many novels written about life in Roman Palestine that deal with early Christianity, that I found one written from a Jewish perspective refreshing.

The magic involved was a great touch, although I thought all the sexual relationships without marriage was a bit unrealistic. Sorcery plays a big part in my upcoming historical novel, [b:Rav Hisda's Daughter, Book I: Apprentice: A Novel of Love, the Talmud, and Sorcery|13542525|Rav Hisda's Daughter, Book I Apprentice A Novel of Love, the Talmud, and Sorcery|Maggie Anton|http://photo.goodreads.com/books/1333225010s/13542525.jpg|19106814], that it was a wonderful surprise to discover another book touching on the same subject in approximately the same time period.

I highly recommend it.
[a:Maggie Anton|79249|Maggie Anton|http://photo.goodreads.com/authors/1333223189p2/79249.jpg] ( )
  Maggie.Anton | Jul 18, 2014 |
Wow. I took my time reading this one, and it deserved it. One of the best novels I have read in a long time. Absolutely gorgeous. ( )
  bookwormam | Jul 8, 2014 |
I was very disappointed in the novel. I found it to slow moving and barely engaging. ( )
  hemlokgang | Apr 22, 2014 |
Very interesting story weaving truth and story together.
  shazjhb | Mar 27, 2014 |
This was a really beautiful book. It was lengthy and still I did not want it to end. ( )
  dms02 | Feb 27, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 79 (next | show all)
You could call it a hoopla sandwich. On the back cover, a blurb from a famous, widely respected author describing the novel as “a major contribution to 21st-century literature.” On the jacket flap, a publisher’s summary proclaiming this book to be the writer’s “masterpiece.” Yet in between, instead of a gripping work of fiction that lives up to this praise, is a long novel full of middling descriptions, hackneyed characters and histrionic plot twists.
 
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Let my burden be your burden, and yours be mine.
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We had been wandering for so long I forgot what it was like to live within walls or sleep through the night.
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Book description
In 70 CE, nine hundred Jews held out for months against armies of Romans on a mountain in the Judean desert, Masada. According to the ancient historian Josephus, two women and five children survived. Based on this tragic historical event, Hoffman weaves a spellbinding tale of four extraordinary, 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 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 twin grandsons, rendered mute by their own witness. Aziza is a warrior’s daughter, raised as a boy, a fearless rider and expert marksman, who finds passion with another soldier. Shirah 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, as the Romans draw near. All are dovekeepers, and all are also keeping secrets—about who they are, where they come from, who fathered them, and whom they love.
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 145161747X, Hardcover)

Amazon Best Books of the Month, October 2011: Yael was born of a dead mother and father who knows how to become invisible. Revka learned silence when her grandsons lost their voices after witnessing their mother’s brutal murder. Aziza became a boy to protect herself, and hates being forced to turn back into a woman. And Shirah will do anything to protect those she loves from the horrors of the world. The power and violence of these women is evident in every word of The Dovekeepers. Hoffman’s prose is vivid and unforgettable, scorching like the desert heat, and will stay with you long after you finish the last page. A story of sacrifice, endurance, and above all, survival, The Dovekeepers is homage to anyone who’s ever held fast to their beliefs in the face of nearly insurmountable adversity. --Malissa Kent

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:56:05 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

A tale inspired by the tragic first-century massacre of hundreds of Jewish people at Masada presents the stories of a hated daughter, a baker's wife, a girl disguised as a warrior, and a medicine woman who keep doves and secrets while Roman soldiers drawnear.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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