The Dovekeepers

A Novel

Hoffman, Alice

Book - 2011
Average Rating: 4 stars out of 5.
The Dovekeepers
Alice Hoffman chronicles the harrowing siege at Masada in 70 C.E. Facing a frightening Roman army, 900 Jews held their own for months. But in the end, only two women and five children survived the culminating battle. Here, Hoffman traces the women's steps to Masada.

Publisher: New York : Scribner, 2011
ISBN: 9781451617474
Branch Call Number: FIC H
Characteristics: 504 p. : map ; 24 cm.


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Nov 03, 2014
  • Gloriane rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

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.

Aug 17, 2014
  • DorisWaggoner rated this: 3 stars out of 5.

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.

Aug 02, 2014
  • johncruse rated this: 1 stars out of 5.

A sad and tragic story retold with a lot of weird BS. Some of the characters could perform acts of magic. Really?
No. They were not perfect but they were devout and dedicated to Adoni.

Jun 25, 2014

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.

Jul 15, 2013

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.

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Jul 30, 2014
  • blue_dolphin_3159 rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

blue_dolphin_3159 thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over


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