The Dovekeepers

The Dovekeepers

A Novel

Book - 2011
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A tale inspired by the tragic first-century massacre of hundreds of Jewish people at Masada presents the stories of a hated daughter, a baker's wife, a girl disguised as a warrior, and a medicine woman who keep doves and secrets while Roman soldiers draw near.
Publisher: New York : Scribner, 2011
Edition: First Scribner hardcover edition
ISBN: 9781451617474
Branch Call Number: FICTION Hof
Description: 504 pages : map ; 24 cm
Alternative Title: Dove keepers


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Jan 14, 2018

This harrowing tale of four women who are at Masada when it falls to the Romans is a tad tedious. Masada is a key event in Israeli history. Yet, the focus of the book is on their lives and transgressions before the last day. The book is overly long and gives short thrift to the climatic real life ending.

Dec 14, 2017

"Dove Keepers" by Alice Hoffman is one terrific adventure story based on historical accounts during ancient times in old Isreal. The "Dove Keepers" is a story about four heroic women, all different from each other, one is a warrior, one is a healer, one is a mystic, and one is leader. The Jewish people are on the run from the Roman army that has invaded and is now destroying the nation. The escape is lead by families who walk through the desert searching for a safe haven locate on top of a mountain. As the families settle in to their new surroundings each person assumes a position within the community that would add to their survival. The dove keepers are persons who care for birds. Doves lay eggs which provides food to help sustain the group. As time passes, relationships form, young girls become young women, hormones start to kick in and love blooms. The rules and traditions of Jewish Culture are less important when your on the run! "Dove Keepers" is an exciting story that keeps the reader entertained and riveted til the very end. Full of outstanding scenic descriptions, well developed characters you want to know more about and action that take your mind's eye into uncharted territory. A must read. Already a feature film I can't wait to read it again.

Highly recommended!

Ghettostone Publications Editor/Chief


Nov 12, 2017

Loved this book! In fact reading was ruined for me for a bit because this was so fascinating and captivating.

AL_TATYANA Jun 13, 2017

This novel is set in ancient Israel, when 900 Jews held Masada for months against Roman armies. The story is based on the tragic event when warriors for freedom fought against trained soldiers. it is a mesmerizing story of courage seen through the eyes of the four extraordinary women, each holding to their own secrets and beliefs. Alice Hoffman's masterpiece is a testament to the human spirit.

Miranda_Ericsson Apr 05, 2017

An unforgettable novel! Powerful and dangerous women. The feminine aspect of God. Mysticism, destiny, history.

Mar 18, 2017

An epic tale that is told through the eyes of four women who were seeking refuge at Masada. The book was fascinating read and well-researched. The journey of each woman shows their suffering as the Roman legions take over their homeland and how their stories intertwine even more than first realized.

There was much mixing of paganism i.e. Ashtoreth and other rituals with the practices of Judaism. God clearly told his people that such practices were forbidden and would bring judgment. At this same time in history, there were Jews who had been taken captive to Rome and were embracing the gospel message of the Messiah.

If you enjoyed this book, you may want to check out the Mark of the Lion series by Francine Rivers.

Jan 20, 2016

Most experts on ancient history remember the tragic siege of Masada, where hundreds of Jewish refugees committed suicide rather than surrender to the Roman army. The only survivors were two women and five children. A lot of the stories focus on the military aspects, but "The Dovekeepers" speaks from a different perspective; from the lives of four women. There's a suspected witch, an Amazonian warrior, a baker's widow who has seen untold horrors, and an abused, neglected daughter of an assassin.

Hoffman wraps her novel with fascinating details and intense, dream like imagery. The terrors of being persecuted in your own land by the Roman conquerers are distant as thunder at first, then gradually develop into the horrific storm of the nightmarish final nights. The suspense of reading on to find out who survives and who doesn't becomes as taut as a tightrope. If you liked Anita Diamant's "The Red Tent", you'll love "The Dovekeepers".

Aug 06, 2015

This is one of the most beautiful and moving novels I've read in some time.

Jul 10, 2015

While this novel is long, I gobbled it up in two days because I just could not put it down. The story is quite heavy and dark from beginning to end, but Hoffman's prose is gorgeous and the connections between the four women were very moving and well drawn. This book has great historical detail as well, along with a dose of fantasy/magical realism.

FederalWayEdna Jun 19, 2015

Writing style was tedious and repetitive; our book group agreed that we felt like we were trudging through of the all 500 pages despite the four strong women characters. We appreciated the historical significance and we all ended up doing more research on Masada.

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Jul 30, 2014

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