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The Dovekeepers by Alice Hoffman
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The Dovekeepers (2011)

by Alice Hoffman

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2,0551133,239 (3.93)220
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Showing 1-5 of 111 (next | show all)
Great book-beautifully written and amazingly researched. Occasionally I was bored, but this was the type of book I could set down for three months (which I did) and not feel like I was forgetting anything when I picked it up again. The last section was definitely my favorite. Overall great book. ( )
  gossamerchild88 | Mar 30, 2018 |
I was a bit intimidated by this doorstop of a book in the beginning, but it sure didn't take me long to get into the story. Once I got 'hooked', I didn't want to stop reading.

I really liked the way Ms Hoffman was so descriptive with her writing. I could almost smell the smells, feel the desert air blow across my face or see the colors of the fine silk that was worn.

I really didn't like that it took over 400 pages out of 500 to get to the meat of the story. I really didn't like that I know little to nothing about Jewish history (my issue not hers).

The ending was certainly something that I did NOT see coming and would not have guessed who and how the survivors actually survived. The ones that did not survive was absolutely heart breaking.

I recommend this book to everyone that doesn't mind investing a little time into a story. ( )
  PamV | Mar 27, 2018 |
This is a beautiful tale of four extraordinary women struggling to survive as their people are sought out for extermination by the Roman Empire. In 70 C.E. nine hundred Jews fled for their lives and sought refuge in King Herod's stronghold at Masada. Yael, born of a dead mother and rejected by her father the assassin, must survive the dessert to take refuge in the stronghold. Revka, the baker's widow, who watched the brutal murder of her beloved daughter, must now help her grandsons survive to reach manhood as their father abandons them in his grief and need for revenge. Aziza, raised as a boy and trained as a warrior, must struggle with her identity when her mother changes her back into a girl upon reaching Masada. Shirah, the witch of Moab, has a power of her own but is powerless to resist the call of the man who possesses her heart. These unlikely companions are thrown together to work in the dove cotes where they discover who they are and form a bond that cannot be broken no matter what horrors they must face as their enemies grow near.

Bettina P. / Marathon County Public Library
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  mcpl.wausau | Sep 25, 2017 |
A must read for anyone interested in the story of Masada. Slow at times it still brings you vivid descriptions of the landscape, rich characters, and a good historical framework of Israel around 70CE. ( )
  kglattstein | Aug 18, 2017 |
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 | Jun 25, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 111 (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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Epigraph
Let my burden be your burden, and yours be mine.
Dedication
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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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(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 draw near.… (more)

» see all 6 descriptions

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