My latest "book finish" is The Dovekeepers, it had been on my list for quite a while. This is my first time reading Alice Hoffman, but it won't be my last. (I'm beginning to think I will never live long enough to read all the books I wish to... the list just keeps growing...)
A story of faith and human spirit, over five years in the writing, The Dovekeepers is Hoffman's most ambitious novel, and as the book jacket states: It is her "masterpiece". Indeed. It is set in ancient Israel, and begins in 70 C.E. when 900 Jews held out for months against the Roman army on Masada, a mountain in the Judean desert overlooking the Dead Sea. According to the ancient historian Josephus, only two women and five children survived the slaughter. Based on this tragic event, The Dovekeepers is the story of four extraordinary women who find themselves together on Masada.
It is a fairly long story, allowing for good character development and much history; it's not a quick read for 10 minutes here and there. You will want to set aside some good blocks of time so you can really "get into it". Hoffman seamlessly weaves together the characters, their historical setting and the emotions of anger, joy, sorrow, and love as she writes in great detail so that you feel you are there, experiencing each of their personal journies. Secrets, pain, distrust, cruelty, sex, loyalty, friendship, magic, tragedies and triumphs - it's all there, along with richly detailed history. This story will touch you, it will stay with you, and you will be left wanting more.... 5 stars from me.
Have you read others by Alice Hoffman? What would you recommend?
"Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counselors, and the most patient of teachers." ~ Charles W. Eliot