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

by Alice Hoffman

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1,7811083,942 (3.93)210
Member:pamur
Title:The Dovekeepers: A Novel
Authors:Alice Hoffman
Info:Scribner (2012), Edition: Reprint, Paperback, 528 pages
Collections:Your library, digital, Book Club
Rating:****
Tags:fiction, historical

Work details

The Dovekeepers by Alice Hoffman (2011)

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» See also 210 mentions

English (106)  Dutch (2)  English (108)
Showing 1-5 of 106 (next | show all)
Harrowing but worth it. I am normally not a fan of Hoffman. Here on Earth? More like Hell on Earth. This though? Great. ( )
  cookierooks | Nov 16, 2016 |
This is not my cup of tea but I think many many people will like it.
  laurenbufferd | Nov 14, 2016 |
If you're an Alice Hoffman fan, or if you liked The Red Tent, you'll probably be into this book. Since I'm not wild about either, I wasn't. But it is well-written, despite being about 150 pages too long. ( )
  gayla.bassham | Nov 7, 2016 |
A lovely book, fascinating, top-notch. ( )
  Gcleare | Oct 16, 2016 |
A lovely book, fascinating, top-notch. ( )
  Gcleare | Oct 16, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 106 (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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Information from the Dutch Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
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Epigraph
Let my burden be your burden, and yours be mine.
Dedication
First words
We had been wandering for so long I forgot what it was like to live within walls or sleep through the night.
Quotations
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
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.
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 Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:21:33 -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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