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The Dovekeepers: A Novel by Alice Hoffman

The Dovekeepers: A Novel (original 2011; edition 2012)

by Alice Hoffman

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1,618954,483 (3.94)207
Title:The Dovekeepers: A Novel
Authors:Alice Hoffman
Info:Scribner (2012), Edition: Reprint, Paperback, 528 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:Historical Fiction, Jewish history, Women

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The Dovekeepers by Alice Hoffman (2011)


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In 70 C.E a group of about 900 Jewish rebels fled Jerusalem and settled in Masada, an ancient fortress high in the desert mountains and considered to be indestructible. There, they held out for months against armies of Romans.

Read about four strong-willed and fiercely independent women. Learn their secrets and how their lives intersect. ( )
  jenn88 | Feb 14, 2016 |
Wow, this was just wonderful. My first Hoffman too, what a place to start. I knew that the narrators were going to change, and at first I was a little fussy because I didn't think I could be as happy as I was with Yael, but I had no reason to be concerned. Each woman's story was so unique, not predictable, and so cleverly intertwined. I love the descriptions of the land, the animals and the various plants. So amazing to think of the things they accomplished two thousand years ago. It reminded me a bit of the Red Tent, which was another five star for me. Don't suggest you finish it late at night because the crying gave me a tummy ache that kept me awake! I am thinking that reading [b:Day After Night|6330323|Day After Night|Anita Diamant|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1436584644s/6330323.jpg|6515977] might be a great follow-up read, fast forward to recent history from ancient history, but a similar premise. ( )
  MaureenCean | Feb 2, 2016 |
If you liked The Red Tent, you are likely to enjoy The Dovekeepers. It is set in 71 AD as the Romans are murderously dominating Israel and suppressing Judaism. The Zionists, or Zealots as they are sometimes called, have taken Herod's fortress, Masada and hold out there for three years until the Romans launch a full scale attack against them. This is the story of four women and the lives that brought them to Masada, the lives they live together. It is filled with tales of strength, survival and different types of mysticism melding together. Hoffman has definitely woven her own magic, creating a cast of characters who break your heart and win your admiration. Excellent! ( )
  bookfest | Jan 26, 2016 |
Wow. I've always loved Alice Hoffman's story telling ability but I thought she was at her best in this book. I really was concerned when I realized when and where the novel was taking place (not really my interest) area) but within no time I was transported. However accurate the historical voices of the women in this novel, for me, it was a beautiful, tragic, magically woven tale of life. ( )
  kmmsb459 | Jan 24, 2016 |
"The Dovekeepers" is an epic novel based on a true event in Masada when, in 70 AD, hundreds of Jews took their own lives rather than be captured and tortured by the Romans. This book won't appeal to everyone, it is fairly heavy, rich in historical detail and full of violence, cruelty, death and tragedy, but for lovers of history it is a winner. The four main female characters are all strong, determined women who are burdened with secrets and who have had to endure terrible sufferings. They each have a part telling their story in a first person narrative which includes their lives before Masada, their journey across the desert to the great fort and their daily struggle to survive once they reach the mountain. The sad part about this book is that, according to history, only two women and five children survive the massacre, so it is a guessing game to work out who does live and who doesn't. This is a powerful, moving book dealing with love, faith and heart-ache. A wonderful Easter read!
( )
  HeatherLINC | Jan 22, 2016 |
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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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Do not combine the book with the "The Dovekeepers TV Mini-Series" video.
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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.
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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 Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:21:33 -0400)

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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)

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