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The Dovekeepers (2011)

by Alice Hoffman

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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2,9931464,631 (3.95)256
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.

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English (143)  Dutch (2)  All languages (145)
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13/01/2024 SPCA Bookshop
  73Sonya | Jan 15, 2024 |
If you liked The Red Tent... ( )
  nogomu | Oct 19, 2023 |
Told from 4 different women's point of view from 70 CE to 77 CE, the four women work in the Dovecotes of the Masada, a fortress from Herod's time that the Jews thought could never be breached by the Romans, until it was. Background in various forms of "magic", visions and manipulation amongst four very strong women. ( )
  nancynova | Sep 6, 2023 |
  schoenbc70 | Sep 2, 2023 |
One of the most beautiful books I have ever read. ( )
  bibliowitch | May 23, 2023 |
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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.

» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Alice Hoffmanprimary authorall editionscalculated
Cash, AyaNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Feldshuh, TovahNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hecht, JessicaNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lind, HeatherNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Let my burden be your burden, and yours be mine
First words
We had been wandering for so long I forgot what it was like to live within walls or sleep through the night.
All that will ever be has already been written long before it happens.
...a yew does not run through the open gate when her entire world consists of the pen in which she lives. Once such a creature has memorized the fence of thorns, she will not cross that marker, not even after it's torn down, for it still rules the boundaries of her vision and her life.
In a land where rebellion has been crushed, there cannot be a single warrior left.
In a storm a blade of grass can withstand the fury of winds that bring the palaces of kings to ruin.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Do not combine the book with the "The Dovekeepers TV Mini-Series" video.
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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 draw near.

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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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