The Dovekeepers

The Dovekeepers

A Novel

Book - 2011 | First Scribner hardcover edition.
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The Dovekeepers is Alice Hoffman's most ambitious and mesmerizing novel: "striking....Hoffman grounds her expansive, intricately woven, and deepest new novel in biblical history, with a devotion and seriousness of purpose" ( Entertainment Weekly ).

Nearly two thousand years ago, nine hundred Jews held out for months against armies of Romans on Masada, a mountain in the Judean desert. According to the ancient historian Josephus, two women and five children survived. Based on this tragic and iconic event, Hoffman's novel is a spellbinding tale of four extraordinarily 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, an expert assassin, never forgave her for that death. Revka, a village baker's wife, watched the murder of her daughter by Roman soldiers; she brings to Masada her young grandsons, rendered mute by what they have witnessed. Aziza is a warrior's daughter, raised as a boy, a fearless rider and expert marksman who finds passion with a fellow soldier. Shirah, born in Alexandria, 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. All are dovekeepers, and all are also keeping secrets--about who they are, where they come from, who fathered them, and whom they love.
Publisher: New York : Scribner, 2011.
Edition: First Scribner hardcover edition.
ISBN: 9781451617481
Branch Call Number: HOF
Characteristics: 504 pages :,map ;,24 cm
Alternative Title: Dove keepers


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Nov 12, 2017

Loved this book! In fact reading was ruined for me for a bit because this was so fascinating and captivating.

AL_TATYANA Jun 13, 2017

This novel is set in ancient Israel, when 900 Jews held Masada for months against Roman armies. The story is based on the tragic event when warriors for freedom fought against trained soldiers. it is a mesmerizing story of courage seen through the eyes of the four extraordinary women, each holding to their own secrets and beliefs. Alice Hoffman's masterpiece is a testament to the human spirit.

Miranda_Ericsson Apr 05, 2017

An unforgettable novel! Powerful and dangerous women. The feminine aspect of God. Mysticism, destiny, history.

Mar 18, 2017

An epic tale that is told through the eyes of four women who were seeking refuge at Masada. The book was fascinating read and well-researched. The journey of each woman shows their suffering as the Roman legions take over their homeland and how their stories intertwine even more than first realized.

There was much mixing of paganism i.e. Ashtoreth and other rituals with the practices of Judaism. God clearly told his people that such practices were forbidden and would bring judgment. At this same time in history, there were Jews who had been taken captive to Rome and were embracing the gospel message of the Messiah.

If you enjoyed this book, you may want to check out the Mark of the Lion series by Francine Rivers.

Jan 20, 2016

Most experts on ancient history remember the tragic siege of Masada, where hundreds of Jewish refugees committed suicide rather than surrender to the Roman army. The only survivors were two women and five children. A lot of the stories focus on the military aspects, but "The Dovekeepers" speaks from a different perspective; from the lives of four women. There's a suspected witch, an Amazonian warrior, a baker's widow who has seen untold horrors, and an abused, neglected daughter of an assassin.

Hoffman wraps her novel with fascinating details and intense, dream like imagery. The terrors of being persecuted in your own land by the Roman conquerers are distant as thunder at first, then gradually develop into the horrific storm of the nightmarish final nights. The suspense of reading on to find out who survives and who doesn't becomes as taut as a tightrope. If you liked Anita Diamant's "The Red Tent", you'll love "The Dovekeepers".

Aug 06, 2015

This is one of the most beautiful and moving novels I've read in some time.

Jul 10, 2015

While this novel is long, I gobbled it up in two days because I just could not put it down. The story is quite heavy and dark from beginning to end, but Hoffman's prose is gorgeous and the connections between the four women were very moving and well drawn. This book has great historical detail as well, along with a dose of fantasy/magical realism.

FederalWayEdna Jun 19, 2015

Writing style was tedious and repetitive; our book group agreed that we felt like we were trudging through of the all 500 pages despite the four strong women characters. We appreciated the historical significance and we all ended up doing more research on Masada.

Apr 06, 2015

I loved this book! The women were strong and interesting. Historical and accurate? No. But I loved it all the same. I knew it was a novel going in, so I was not upset by the magic and such. It enhanced the wonderful story to me.

Gloriane Oct 02, 2014

Having read several books by Hoffman, I expected to love this from the first page. However, the historical setting is a big departure from her other titles, and it took me longer to get hooked. But once I did, I saw that The Dovekeepers has the mystical, magical tone I love in her other books, as well as strong, independent female characters who drew me into their compelling stories.

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Jul 30, 2014

blue_dolphin_3159 thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over


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