The Dovekeepers: A Novel

Front Cover
Simon and Schuster, Apr 3, 2012 - Fiction - 505 pages
102 Reviews
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.
 

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - jenn88 - LibraryThing

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 ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - nx74defiant - LibraryThing

It was enjoyable. I wonder how accurate it was. If the Jews had interwoven that much superstition into their worship it is no wonder they were rejected by Jehovah. It was interesting how they viewed the laws on cleanliness. They were being protected but not they way they thought. Read full review

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Selected pages

Contents

Section 1
3
Section 2
29
Section 3
39
Section 4
48
Section 5
78
Section 6
88
Section 7
98
Section 8
133
Section 19
315
Section 20
321
Section 21
335
Section 22
340
Section 23
349
Section 24
363
Section 25
379
Section 26
397

Section 9
144
Section 10
153
Section 11
158
Section 12
164
Section 13
172
Section 14
209
Section 15
275
Section 16
285
Section 17
288
Section 18
290
Section 27
407
Section 28
417
Section 29
420
Section 30
462
Section 31
477
Section 32
507
Section 33
508
Section 34
509
Section 35
515
Copyright

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About the author (2012)

Alice Hoffman has published a total of twenty-eight works of fiction. Her novel, Here on Earth, was an Oprah Book Club choice. Practical Magic was made into a Warner film starring Sandra Bullock and Nicole Kidman. Hoffman's work has been published in more than twenty translations and more than one hundred foreign editions. Hoffman is currently a visiting research scholar at the Women's Studies Research Center at Brandeis University.

Bibliographic information