Wednesday, 10 January 2018

Book Club: The Dovekeepers

The Dovekeepers: A Novel by Alice Hoffman
Image via Chapters Indigo
Book: The Dovekeepers
Author: Alice Hoffman


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 lov
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What I Have To Say:
Let me start by saying I am not a fan of historical fiction. This book was gift from one of my sorority sisters and one I would not have picked up on my own (because I don't like historical fiction). 

This story is told in 5 different segments from different perspectives- I do enjoy this format for storytelling. We learn- from each of their perspectives- how Yael, Revka, Aziza, and Shirah make their way to Masada, and we learn about their lives. It was interesting learning about these women, their journey, their struggles, and how their lives intersect. 
I enjoyed most of the book and was curious to find out what would happen next. I started to lose interested near the end, as the Romans encircle the mountain and start to prepare for their attack. Besides that, the characters are interesting, so different from each other, and well developed. The plot is engaging, and a bit slow moving in the beginning. 

Final Verdict:
If you like historical fiction, I high recommend it. Otherwise, give this book a pass. 


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