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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

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1,229None6,445 (3.95)172
Member:pamur
Title:The Dovekeepers: A Novel
Authors:Alice Hoffman
Info:Scribner (2012), Edition: Reprint, Paperback, 528 pages
Collections:Your library, Book Club
Rating:****
Tags:ebook, fiction, historical

Work details

The Dovekeepers by Alice Hoffman (2011)

1st century (10) 2011 (8) 2012 (14) Ancient Israel (6) book club (10) ebook (16) family (6) fiction (121) historical (16) historical fiction (125) history (7) Israel (37) Jerusalem (7) Jewish (16) Jewish History (6) Jews (21) Judaism (18) Judea (9) Kindle (11) magic (10) magical realism (6) Masada (65) novel (10) own (7) read (9) religion (9) Romans (25) to-read (70) unread (11) women (37)
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English (76)  Dutch (2)  All languages (78)
Showing 1-5 of 76 (next | show all)
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 |
I have to say that this was an emotional journey for me.
It started as a slow read, although lovely writing, I was having a difficult time getting thru the 1st voice (Yael) seemed to drag. The 2nd voice (Revka) was so heart wrenching, her story sparked a renewed interest in the book. The 3rd voice (Aziza) slowed the book down again for me and I just wanted it to be over. When I finally reached the 4th voice (Shirah) I was overwhelmed with the grief of this story. Hoffman brought to life the Masada and retold the story through the lives of 4 women who made their travels from different worlds, came together and grew strength from each other. The descriptions were so vivid that I felt that I walked beside these women thru their journey and witnessed the story 1st hand. Very moving re-telling of the Jewish stronghold of Masada and Roman Legion waging war upon them. The warriors, the Essenes and Dovekeepers and the spiritual stories made for a powerful story. ( )
  booklovers2 | Feb 1, 2014 |
Sloppy second rate writing full of contrived melodrama.

This is a good book for anyone who doesn't want to think. Consider a rock to the head while reading to keep away any thinking, you won't miss anything. I didn't love many of the plot points, found some awkward at best, but mainly I was bothered by the lack of depth and noticeably poor writing. In place of depth and substance, there is contrived melodrama. As for the writing, there is a flow to it, but sometimes the words stopped making sense or were inconsistent with what was said earlier. Apparently Hoffman didn't see it or chose not to bother with it.

Hoffman says this took five years to write. Since 2007 she published four regular novels and one young adult. This was published in 2011. I don't see how she could have spent much of those five years actually researching/writing this book. Anyway, it doesn't show. ( )
6 vote dchaikin | Nov 10, 2013 |
Didn't think I would like a historically based novel. Well, I was so wrong. I loved it. Though the novel was set 2k years ago, it read as very contemporary. The women's thoughts and feelings are very much the same as today's anguished, the rituals are also carried on today. ( )
  Lorisueb | Nov 7, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 76 (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)

» see all 7 descriptions

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