The Dovekeepers

The Dovekeepers

Large Print - 2011
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In 70 CE, 900 Jews held out against armies of Romans on a mountain in Masada. According to an ancient historian, two women and five children survived. Based on this tragic event, Hoffman weaves a tale of four bold, resourceful, and sensuous women, each of whom has come to Masada by a different path.
Publisher: Thorndike, Me. : Center Point Pub., 2011
ISBN: 9781611732573
1611732573
Branch Call Number: Fiction Hoffman Large Type
Characteristics: 735 p. ; 23 cm
large print

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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.

d
darladoodles
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.

j
JEM_LPL
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".

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gigglebird
Aug 06, 2015

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

c
CrochetCat374
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.

k
KellyReader
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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DorisWaggoner
Aug 17, 2014

The story itself fascinates me; I like historical fiction, and I know some about what happened at Masada. Clearly Hoffman had done her background research. Doing a story with four different 1st person segments is risky, because the reader must always be able to tell who's "speaking." I always knew when Yael was speaking, since she came first. After that, it was harder to tell who was who, though their stories were compelling. Each woman was fictional, though could have been real, if you want to accept the magic, as people did at that time. As I neared the end of the book, I read an archaeology article on Masada saying that current research indicates the group had plenty of food and weapons. They probably couldn't have held out forever against the Romans, since their weapons weren't as good as the Romans', but their choice of of mass suicide at the time they did was a choice, and definitely not the massacre SPL's "description" says it was. Josephus, the Jewish historian turned Roman apostate, who's the only written source on Masada, calls it suicide, and the archaeology supports that. He says a very small handful of women and children survived, and I finished the book primarily because I wanted to know which ones Hoffman would pick.

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blue_dolphin_3159
Jul 30, 2014

blue_dolphin_3159 thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over

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