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The Dovekeepers Audiobook

The Dovekeepers: A Novel

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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

4.1 (1460 )
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4.3 (1234 )
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Performance
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  •  
    SandraDee Dixon, CA 11-14-13
    SandraDee Dixon, CA 11-14-13 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Bravo!"
    Any additional comments?

    I usually pick fantasy/YA/dystopia series so I’m not sure what brought me to buy this audio book (I don’t think I even read the description before buying it) but I am sure glad I did!!!

    Be forewarned this book does not have a happy beginning, middle, or ending, but there are happy parts. There is a lot of suffering, emotionally and physically; but it is a beautiful story. After the first 2 hours of the audio book I was still unsure about it. Yael is not the type of main character I would normally like and some of the things she does in the desert are not charming, however, I began to not only to like her but love her. Once Yael gets to Masada the book listening became a lot easier and I breezed through it wanting to know more.

    What I loved most about this book were the characters. Four women narrators read the different character (Yael, Revka, Aziza, and Shirah) parts and the book comes to life. I loved the connection these women formed as the dove keepers and it made me wish I had a sister or someone like these women found in each other.

    I also like that this book came off realistic; Considering 960 Jews really did die on Masada around 71 CE, I want to believe that these four women were real and this was their true story (no matter how sad it is). Alice Hoffman could have wrote about four women who always do the right thing and of men who didn’t deserve the fate that came to them, but she didn’t. She created real men and women in a time of sadness where you had to take what you needed in order to survive.

    I thought this book was the perfect length for listening. If I found myself spacing out I would rewind 30-60 seconds because I wanted to know every detail.

    My conclusion is that this book is worth knowing. I finished it last night and I dreamed about it all night long and have been thinking about it all morning. I am not Jewish, I have never been across the Atlantic ocean (I live in CA), and I really don’t know much about history outside the US and the World Wars. Even though this book is fictional history it got me interested in knowing, and reading, more books about true events. So thank you Ms. Hoffman! I will be listening to this audio book again in the future.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Colby Omaha, NE, United States 10-14-13
    Colby Omaha, NE, United States 10-14-13 Member Since 2016

    Married mother of three teenagers, back to work after 15 years at home - when I read a lot. Now I am the assistant to the Mayor of Omaha and work at least 60 hours a week, and on top of what I have to do at home - no more books. This lets me listen to the classics, the latest, whatever I want. I can learn or escape. I have always love audio books, but now I NEED them.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Not my favorite"

    I was not expecting a happy story within the tale of Masada, because I know how it ends. But I was not expecting to get bored waiting for that end, and sometimes I really did. I agree with another review that a single story teller might have been better, or else more interweaving of the stories instead of one at a time. Also, each character did not finish, which was frustrating. Each character told you their history and how they came to be in Masada, and each storyteller got you closer to the end, but then only one character tells you the end of the story. I would have liked each woman I invested time in to tell me how her story ended - good or bad - for herself, as they had all told me up to now.
    I did not have any great complaints about the readers, but no great reports either.
    Overall, I'm not sorry I read it, but I am also not: enlightened, educated or feeling better for having experienced it, so in the end, cannot recommend it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    suhgru 04-30-13
    suhgru 04-30-13
    ratings
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    Story
    "ugh..."
    Would you try another book from Alice Hoffman and Heather Lind and/or the narrators?

    no. I found the "woe is me" attitude of the protagonist highly annoying.


    Has The Dovekeepers turned you off from other books in this genre?

    no.


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    the narrator is so deadpan...i can't stand to listen to her anymore.


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

    irritation! the combination of the protagonist's yearning to both hide from society and be recognized at the same time... and the voice of the narrator...I can't get though the first part. When a book that you are reading for pleasure starts to become a chore...that's when you know you should stop listening...


    Any additional comments?

    Maybe the written book would be better...however the narrator has spoiled that for me...

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Robin 04-29-13
    Robin 04-29-13 Member Since 2012
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    "This dove doesn't fly"

    I must admit that I didn't finish it. I was intrigued by the novel's Scriptural setting, but the content was not enough to emotionally invest me in the characters. I know a lot about the Bible, and I was hoping for familiar names or events interwoven in the story. The narrative was burdensome, and I found myself going back and re-listening to sections because I found I was day dreaming. The concept was good, but the story didn't work for me.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Anne SAINT PETE BEACH, FL, United States 03-25-13
    Anne SAINT PETE BEACH, FL, United States 03-25-13
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    "Great listen!"

    This is one of my new favorites. Great story and the presentation of the different characters was fabulous.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kindle Customer Little River, CA, United States 03-04-13
    Kindle Customer Little River, CA, United States 03-04-13 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    Story
    "A Haunting Vision Shimmering in the Desert"
    Any additional comments?

    I read this book several months ago and kept meaning to write a review because I loved it so much. So, here I am writing it now after such a long time. I'm at this time left with more feelings and impressions than really absolutes about the plot. I have recommended this book over and over again and here is the reason why.There is a spiritual and romantically psychological depth to which this book takes one that I find extremely rare. I kept feeling while I was listening that it was a truly joyous experience. I am in awe of writers who can get to that level while also telling a story that is moving and significant on the world historical stage. My deepest spiritual self was touched over and over as the characters were propelled through constantly conflicting and threatening situations. Please don't misunderstand, these were very difficult times and brutal situations, but the author allowed for a wondrous depth of spirit against that background that must be spoken to and appreciated.I'm trying not to talk directly about the storyline in order not to take away from future readers. There was so much going on around them on the outside (physically), but they also were dealing with an enormous amount of growth and experience on the inside (spiritually).I truly loved "The Dovekeepers" and am looking forward to the time when it is far enough in the future to be able to reread it with fresh eyes once again. As I said, I have told many of my friends about it and they have all love it and we have spent time talking and sharing our different "takes" on the various aspects of it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    LeighLeighE Columbus, OH USA 02-05-13
    LeighLeighE Columbus, OH USA 02-05-13 Member Since 2014

    .

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    "Fascinating, effortless gender connections"

    There is beautiful contrast in the vitality of the characters, as they look possible demise in the face every day. Great angle to see the beginning of time unfold through!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mary Widewater, AB, Canada 02-02-13
    Mary Widewater, AB, Canada 02-02-13
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    "I loved this story"

    When I bought this book I could not bring myself to listen for the longest time, reading the story outline and thinking 'I am not ready to be sad yet! However, when I did, I found I loved this story, it drew me in and embraced me. I had a hard time saying goodbye at the end and replayed the last scenes over several times until I could finally bit them farewell and move on. They still 'haunt' me as I go about my days and provoke thought and contemplation. Truly a exceptionally well written book and great narration.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    SamanthaG Marietta GA 01-15-13
    SamanthaG Marietta GA 01-15-13 Member Since 2010

    SamanthaG

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Slow going and utterly depressing"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    June Kupper San Diego, CA 01-14-13
    June Kupper San Diego, CA 01-14-13 Member Since 2016

    Old lady listener

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    "One of the best i ever read"
    Would you listen to The Dovekeepers again? Why?

    No I can't do same thing twice


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Dovekeepers?

    Part 1


    Have you listened to any of the narrators’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    Haven't listened b/4 but will now


    If you could rename The Dovekeepers, what would you call it?

    don't know


    Any additional comments?

    would love to find many more Jewish books on audible

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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