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The Dovekeepers

A Novel
Hoffman, Alice (Book - 2011 )
Average Rating: 4 stars out of 5.
The Dovekeepers
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A tale inspired by the tragic first-century massacre of hundreds of Jewish people at Masada presents the stories of a hated daughter, a baker's wife, a girl disguised as a warrior, and a medicine woman who keep doves and secrets while Roman soldiers draw near.
Authors: Hoffman, Alice
Title: The dovekeepers
a novel
Publisher: New York : Scribner, 2011
Edition: 1st Scribner hardcover ed
Characteristics: 504 p. :,map ;,24 cm
Statement of Responsibility: Alice Hoffman
Summary: A tale inspired by the tragic first-century massacre of hundreds of Jewish people at Masada presents the stories of a hated daughter, a baker's wife, a girl disguised as a warrior, and a medicine woman who keep doves and secrets while Roman soldiers draw near.
Alternate Title: Dove keepers
ISBN: 9781451617474
145161747X
Branch Call Number: FICTION HOFFMAN 2011
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references (p. 504)
Subject Headings: Women Israel Fiction Masada Site (Israel) Siege, 72-73 Fiction Identity (Psychology) Fiction Man-woman relationships Fiction
Genre/Form: Psychological fiction
Historical fiction
Love stories
Topical Term: Women
Identity (Psychology)
Man-woman relationships
LCCN: 2011018099
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A tale inspired by the tragic first-century massacre of hundreds of Jewish people at Masada.

Join us for the discussion on June 16, 2014.

A tale inspired by the tragic first-century massacre of hundreds of Jewish people at Masada presents the stories of a hated daughter, a baker's wife, a girl disguised as a warrior, and a medicine woman who keep doves and secrets while Roman soldiers draw near.


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The tragic story of what actually happened at Masada over two thousand years ago is only part of the drama of this story. Hoffman draws the reader into the lives and relationships of four women, Yael, whose mother died in childbirth; Revka a bakers wife; Aziza, raised as a boy; and Shirah, a mystic and wise woman who is involved with one of the leaders of Masada. Through the stories of these women the reader is provided with a vivid, personal and very human account of the people’s lives and deaths at Masada. For historical fiction readers interested in the mystical.

May 20, 2014
  • MaryMaryJ rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

A beautifully written book filled with raw fact, emotion and tenderness. Fantastic read. Absolutley loved it. Well done to Hoffman.

Jan 04, 2014
  • ScottFamily rated this: 3.5 stars out of 5.

I have never read anything by Hoffman before and I'm in love with her style.

With all the details in this book, I can appreciate why it took over 5 years to write.

Sep 06, 2013
  • srumfeldt rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

Unusual book--really four books. Women would probably enjoy this book since it details the lives of four women of the Jewish religion before Christ had appeared on the scene. Alice Hoffman, the writer, had a vivid imagination.

could not finish. truth be told could not really start! got to 10 pages. gave up. silly. unoriginal. pablum.

Jun 14, 2013
  • mratzel rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Excellent book....exciting story and the history comes alive in the way Hoffman tells this story of several women who lived at Masada at the time of the Roman Legion attack.

Jun 06, 2013
  • pattyloucor67 rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

One of the best books I have ever read.

had to return before I could finish and intend to try again , although I found some it tedious to read. but I do love to find out how people lived in other centuries and this book is interesting in that it relates to a period where women were treated very differently. so Ill have it on hold and post again

Feb 15, 2013
  • jrbb rated this: 1.5 stars out of 5.

I found this book tedious to read. There was far too much detail that was not really pertinent in my opinion. For me, the detail detracted from the story. The changes in narration was jarring and disruptive; it interrupted the flow of the story. I pushed myself to finish this book and almost gave up during the first part (Yael's narration). I persevered and enjoyed Revka's narration the most (the second part). The last two parts, narrated by Aziza then Shirah, were OK but I found myself skimming large portions. This is a shame because it is a very compelling and important story.

Jan 23, 2013
  • ancheta56 rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

This is an exquisitely written story. I have read almost every book Hoffman has written and loved them, but this one is an incredible piece of history told with clarity and passion. This is a sublimely painful yet glorious story.
I would love to see more from Hoffman like this. This is one of the best books I've read in a long time.

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