Saturday, June 9, 2012

"The Dovekeepers" by Alice Hoffman

The Dovekeepers
by Alice Hoffman
501 pages

Short Version: Four women tell their stories of being run out of Jerusalem and surviving in the desert.

Why I Read It: The title and cover of this book caught my attention awhile ago. When I found it in the bargain books at Barnes and Noble I jumped on it.

The Book: (From Goodreads)
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.

My Thoughts: This book was amazing! I was slow to begin it because I was so busy with work but as soon as I got home I was sitting for hours reading as much as I could until I finished.
The book was written in 4 parts, each part from a different point of view. I was not expecting this and after getting to part 2 was unsure of it. I continued reading and really like how it turned out. Each story was intertwined and continued where the other left off, but also told each woman's individual story. The epilogue in the end was well written and much needed. If it were to leave off after Part 4 there would be a lot of questions, but Hoffman handled the epilogue very well and I felt as if it came to a complete end. This is the second book I've read from this historical time period (the first being The Red Tent by Anita Diamont) and I cannot imagine what these women and their families really went through. They are all so courageous and strong. As I got to know them through their stories it just added to my admiration of them. The magic and witches drew me into the story even more. Hoffman did a very good job making this a part of their lives and not something make believe.

This book is amazing and I think everyone should read it!
5/5 Stars

**I apologize for this short, lacking review but I am running like crazy to get packed for my next trip and am a bit scatter-brained. I just wanted to get something of a review typed so I do not have to bring the hardback book with me. As I slow down and continue thinking about the book I may update my review later.

#8 in 2012 Mount TBR Challenge
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#6 in 2012 Wishlist Challenge

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  1. Alice Hoffman is a favorite of mine, but I've yet to read this novel.. She has a tendency to include strong female roles in her books ~ which is probably a very strong reason why I love her so much. Her writing always has a hint of magic mixed in, and you (or at least, I) can't help but to keep adding her books to my shelf.

    Thanks for sharing! *New Follower*

    Realms of an Open Mind

    1. I defintely recommend this book! This was my first Alice Hoffman novel but I definitely plan on reading more. Which one would you recommend I read next??

  2. This book looks breathtaking! I have never, ever read anything from this time period, but I would definitely like to. Thanks so much for sharing!

    1. You should definitely check this book out. It is only the second book from this time period I've read but I loved it

  3. It was amazing -- you are right. And a bit slow, but that didn't make it any less amazing. I listened to the audio -- which I highly recommend -- the women who read it are PERFECT.

    1. I'm going to have to check out the audio. I'm sure I would love it.

  4. I really liked this book too. I agree that it was hard to get into, but once the baker's wife's story got started, things moved along.


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