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.
"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)
I listened to about 1/3 of the book - the first narrator. Though some of the prose was beautiful, I felt that it needed serious editing. It was just too wordy to keep the story moving. On top of that, It was all very depressing - no ray of sunshine anywhere. When I saw that this book was a 19 hour listen, I got very concerned! This book was selected by my book club and we discussed it today. I didn't want to have to 'fess up and tell them I hadn't finished it when one member asked if ANYONE had finished the book - turned out only one out of the 8 attendees had. I was hoping for another "The Red Tent." Sadly, this wasn't it.
Old lady listener
No I can't do same thing twice
Haven't listened b/4 but will now
would love to find many more Jewish books on audible
No, I didn't enjoy it. The characters seemed to be 21st century people with our attitudes and not people living in 70's CE. I was hopping the Romans would invade already!
No, it ended the way it should.
I am glad that it wasn't any longer.
It was not my favorite book.
I wasn't able to finish it. I just sort of lost interest
the narrators did a great job
The performances were excellent. All the readers did an outstanding job. I generally like Alice Hoffman's works but this one was kind of depressing. Still, a good story that deals with an aspect of history that I knew little about. Sort of like The Red Tent. I guess life wasn't too good for Jewish women during the heyday of the Roman Empire.
I found it hard to believe that the book taking place in 1st century will be easy to relate to. I truly enjoyed how the book written about time long ago brought the issues and relationship of women so close to a woman driving down busy freeways of today.
The characters carry the story. None of them are good and none of them are bad. Their lives are shaped by circumstances as much as their own choices.
Shira was my favorite. Forward thinking, powerful and intelligent yet making some good and some terrible choices.
The storyline was just alright. I stuck with the book until the end, but I was not overly excited about it. Really enjoyed the Red Tent, thought this book might possibly be just as good, but it wasn't. Didn't really care about the characters-and the narrator(s) seemed to be in a state of constant depression. This was the tone they were going for, but it got tiring after awhile.
No. This is the first book from Audible I could not finish. Apparently, there is more than one narrator, I wouldn't know, I could not make it through the first narrator's monotone reading. How does one make murder, assasinations, flight and even sex boring? Well listen to the first part of this book and you will get the answer.
Maybe reading the actual book, as others have suggested.
I was excited by the thought of the subject matter of this book, it was the off-putting nature of the first narrator that caused me to stop listening. I might give it another try in the future... maybe skip ahead and see what the other narrators sound like.
It's been a long time since I've read a book this strong. It will be a favorite. And the voices of the narrators are perfect in the portrayals of their characters. I've always been a fan of Alice Hoffman, but this one is by far her best yet. Don't miss it.
I've read several of Alice Hoffman's other books and enjoyed them greatly. But "The Dovekeepers" was truly awful. It's full of factual errors. I found myself constantly wincing every time she got things wrong. Hoffman should stick to what she knows about.
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