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The Dovekeepers: A Novel | [Alice Hoffman, Heather Lind]

The Dovekeepers: A Novel

Over five years in the writing, Alice Hoffman’s most ambitious and mesmerizing work ever, a triumph of imagination and research set in ancient Israel. The author of such iconic bestsellers as Illumination Night, Practical Magic, Fortune’s Daughter, and Oprah’s Book Club selection Here on Earth, Alice Hoffman is one of the most popular and memorable writers of her generation. Now, in The Dovekeepers, Hoffman delivers her most masterful work yet - one that draws on her passion for mythology, magic, and archaeology and her inimitable understanding of women.
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Publisher's Summary

Over five years in the writing, Alice Hoffman’s most ambitious and mesmerizing work ever, a triumph of imagination and research set in ancient Israel.

The author of such iconic bestsellers as Illumination Night, Practical Magic, Fortune’s Daughter, and Oprah’s Book Club selection Here on Earth, Alice Hoffman is one of the most popular and memorable writers of her generation. Now, in The Dovekeepers, Hoffman delivers her most masterful work yet - one that draws on her passion for mythology, magic, and archaeology and her inimitable understanding of women.

In 70 C.D., nine hundred Jews held out for months against armies of Romans on a mountain in the Judean desert, Masada. According to the ancient historian Josephus, two women and five children survived. Based on this tragic historical event, Hoffman weaves a spellbinding tale of four extraordinary, bold, resourceful, and sensuous women, each of whom comes to Masada by a different path. Yael’s mother died in childbirth, and her father 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 twin grandsons, rendered mute by their own witness. Aziza is a warrior’s daughter, raised as a boy, a fearless rider and expert marksman, who finds passion with another soldier. Shirah 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, as the Romans draw near. All are dovekeepers, and all are also keeping secrets - about who they are, where they come from, who fathered them, and whom they love.

This novel is Alice Hoffman’s masterpiece.

©2011 Alice Hoffman (P)2011 Simon & Schuster, Inc.

What the Critics Say

"Beautiful, harrowing, a major contribution to twenty-first century literature." (Toni Morrison, Nobel Laureate in Literature)

"I am still reeling from The Dovekeepers - from the history Alice Hoffman illuminates, from the language she uses to bring these women to life. This novel is a testament to the human spirit and to love rising from the ashes of war. But most of all, this novel is one that will never be forgotten by a reader." (Jodi Picoult, author of Sing You Home)

“In her remarkable new novel, Alice Hoffman holds a mirror to our ancient past as she explores the contemporary themes of sexual desire, women's solidarity in the face of strife, and the magic that's quietly present in our day-to-day living. Put The Dovekeepers at the pinnacle of Hoffman's extraordinary body of work. I was blown away.” (Wally Lamb, author of The Hour I First Believed)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.0 (1021 )
5 star
 (445)
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 (275)
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4.0 (835 )
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Story
4.2 (840 )
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
 (37)
Performance
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  •  
    J. Schulz 09-24-12
    J. Schulz 09-24-12
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    61
    1
    Overall
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    Story
    "Outstanding performances"
    What did you love best about The Dovekeepers?

    The setting of the story gives a rare and intriguing glimpse of history from a women's point of view true to Alice Hoffman's style. The characters are richly developed and you can't help but fall in love with them.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jodie Laurel, IN, United States 08-22-12
    Jodie Laurel, IN, United States 08-22-12 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    18
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    437
    18
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    "Amazing story telling"

    Alice Hoffman has not just written an amazing story but her words bring you straight to the heart of Masada. Four very different yet bonded women give tell of their journey, creating this life for readers, placing their heart and souls in our hands. There are few books that I read over and over....this will be one of them.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ludmila 08-21-12
    Ludmila 08-21-12
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    13
    1
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    Story
    "Loved this book."
    Any additional comments?

    Although the story was heartbreaking and brutal at times, it is an amazing survival story.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rose-Marie Flen, Sweden 08-13-12
    Rose-Marie Flen, Sweden 08-13-12 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
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    15
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    "It's Alice Hoffman, says it all!"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes - don't ever miss out one of Alice Hoffmans books. It's even better as audiobook!!


    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Timi Arlington, TX, United States 08-07-12
    Timi Arlington, TX, United States 08-07-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
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    "Loved it."
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes, yes, yes. I love books about Jewish history and the story of these 4 women is compelling. It helps you remember that these are not necessarily the worst of times and that the worst of times seems current to all generations.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Loved them all.


    Which character – as performed by the narrators – was your favorite?

    Yaela.


    Any additional comments?

    It's a long book and was totally worth the time. I may listen to it again.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ellen Kitty Hawk, NC, United States 08-05-12
    Ellen Kitty Hawk, NC, United States 08-05-12 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
    8
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    67
    12
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    1
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    "Awesome"

    A smidge confusing until you figure out what time period they are talking about. Again, for historical fiction lovers it's a must read!

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sally Smith San Diego, Ca 07-10-12
    Sally Smith San Diego, Ca 07-10-12 Member Since 2011

    sterling one

    HELPFUL VOTES
    45
    ratings
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    21
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    "exhausting!"
    Would you try another book from Alice Hoffman and Heather Lind and/or the narrators?

    The narrators were fine, but the writing was long, tedious and sophomoric. I usually love historic novels because I find myself effortlessly learning so much about the time and place. Not with this book. I learned more about this time in history by spending a half hour on Google rather than endless hours listening to this audiobook. I would recommend that anyone considering this book to read the NY Times book review of it.


    Would you ever listen to anything by Alice Hoffman and Heather Lind again?

    No


    What did you like about the performance? What did you dislike?

    The performances were fine.


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    That it was a waste of my time.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Eliot New York, NY, United States 07-08-12
    Eliot New York, NY, United States 07-08-12 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    27
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    73
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    "Could have been better"

    I've learned from historical literature that, once they've established themselves as a monotheistic nation, it took the average people of Israel ages to drop all of their pagan habits and worship. But in this book we're talking about the year 70, that's centuries past their existence as non-idol worshipers. To base an entire historical book on magic seeking Israelis is a bit odd. Those people did not go to Massada because they've put their trust in God. They went there because it was a fortress, which they thought was impenetrable.

    I was also disappointed that the writers failed to find narrators who could pronounce the natives' words correctly. Their narrotors hesitation, when time came to pronounce any of these words, is terribly detectable.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kim Huntington, IN, United States 06-28-12
    Kim Huntington, IN, United States 06-28-12 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Beautiful novel!"
    What did you love best about The Dovekeepers?

    The back stories of all the women.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The heart-wrenching emotion and the climax.


    Which character – as performed by the narrators – was your favorite?

    All the women were strong. No favorites.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    I cried more often than I might have liked since I was painting the spare room! ;-)


    Any additional comments?

    A beautiful book. Well worth the time and the slow start. One of my all-time favorites.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ralph Woodbridge, VA, United States 06-06-12
    Ralph Woodbridge, VA, United States 06-06-12 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
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    28
    5
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    0
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    "I Couldn't Finish It!"
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    Whiny, depressing, every sentence full of negative words. I very rarely drop a book midway through, but I've had enough!


    1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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