The Dovekeepers: A Novel

Front Cover
Simon and Schuster, Oct 4, 2011 - Fiction - 504 pages
101 Reviews
Over five years in the writing,

The Dovekeepers is Alice Hoffman’s most ambitious and mesmerizing novel, a tour de force of imagination and research, set in ancient Israel.

In 70 C.E., 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 horrifically brutal 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 an 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. The Dovekeepers is Alice Hoffman’s masterpiece.
 

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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
41
Section 5
48
Section 6
78
Section 7
88
Section 8
98
Section 24
287
Section 25
288
Section 26
290
Section 27
315
Section 28
321
Section 29
335
Section 30
340
Section 31
349

Section 9
106
Section 10
133
Section 11
144
Section 12
153
Section 13
158
Section 14
164
Section 15
172
Section 16
209
Section 17
214
Section 18
230
Section 19
254
Section 20
263
Section 21
268
Section 22
275
Section 23
285
Section 32
363
Section 33
376
Section 34
379
Section 35
397
Section 36
407
Section 37
417
Section 38
420
Section 39
462
Section 40
477
Section 41
478
Section 42
480
Section 43
490
Section 44
498
Section 45
502
Copyright

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About the author (2011)

Alice Hoffman is the author of more than thirty works of fiction, including The Rules of Magic, The Marriage of Opposites, Practical Magic, The Red Garden, the Oprah’s Book Club selection Here on Earth, The Museum of Extraordinary Things, and The Dovekeepers. She lives near Boston.

Bibliographic information