Another magnificent release by C.W. Gortner! He excels at bringing the indomitable Queen Isabella of Castile to life in this gripping and unputdownablAnother magnificent release by C.W. Gortner! He excels at bringing the indomitable Queen Isabella of Castile to life in this gripping and unputdownable novel! Highly recommended!...more
Never before has a book entranced me the way The Dovekeepers by Alice Hoffman has. I’ve literally just finished reading this book and I can’t get my mNever before has a book entranced me the way The Dovekeepers by Alice Hoffman has. I’ve literally just finished reading this book and I can’t get my mind to settle down. It’s almost as if I’ve ran a race, my adrenaline is pumping and my heart beating a mile a minute, scenes from the book keep going around and around in my head. My urgent need to tell everyone about this beautifully haunting book is taking over all other thoughts, so I need to get this review out before I explode!
Alice Hoffman is the author of Practical Magic and The Red Garden, plus many, many other novels but The Dovekeepers is her first historical fiction work. Hoffman was inspired by a trip to Jerusalem, when she visited a place called Masada, a fortress built by Herod the Great that is situated on top of a large mountain, where a group of nine hundred Jews in the first century CE, who had fled their homelands from the invading Romans converged together to escape the slaughter of their people.
The Dovekeepers is the story of four women – Aziza, the girl-warrior; Shirah, the Witch of Moab; Yael, the lioness; and Revka, the revenging mother – who came to Masada after their homes and towns were destroyed, each arriving a completely different woman than who they had been before the invasion. They tell the stories of their own life, prior to and including their time in Masada, up to that fateful day and each story is more haunting and profound than the next.
Hoffman’s writing is among the most exquisite I have ever read! She has expertly woven a tale of tragedy and hope, hate and love, magic and human nature and I was mesmerized by every word. This book should come with a warning as it has the power to thoroughly enthrall a reader, causing them to block out the world around them completely. My household chores were abandoned, husband and child ignored, I was just absorbed into the pages of this novel that everything else took a backseat to the fascinating story enfolding in front of me.
I cried when I finished the novel, not only because of the sad fate of the people of Masada, but because I will miss these four bold and unyielding women. I will carry their story in my heart forever. ...more
Rosalind Miles, oh Rosalind Miles...how happy I am to have found you! You have written a most excellent novel about my favorite monarch, Queen ElizabeRosalind Miles, oh Rosalind Miles...how happy I am to have found you! You have written a most excellent novel about my favorite monarch, Queen Elizabeth I, and gave me hours of reading ecstasy that I will never forget! I loved every minute of this book!!!!
I, Elizabeth is a fantastic read of the life, loves, trials and tribulations of Queen Elizabeth I, "The Virgin Queen". We follow Elizabeth from childhood, when she was labeled a "bastard" and her mother a "whore", to the treacherous times before her accession to the throne, through her 45 year reign as Queen of England, until her death at the age of 69. Miles does a great job at putting you right there with her through it all...the good, the bad and the ugly! The novel is broken down into 5 parts...Bastard, Virgin, Queen, Bellona and Gloriana, the five phases in Elizabeth's life. At a little over 600 pages, this is no light reading...but, do not fret, the chapters are short and it goes by quickly. Elizabeth is portrayed just how I imagined her...spunky, fiesty, strong, vain, gutsy, ornery and a tad bitchy! And it's a good thing that she was all those things, or else she never would've lasted against her Parliament!
The question of Elizabeth's virginity was handled very well in my opinion...she was such a passionate woman (being the offspring of two very amorous people, poor girl didn't stand a chance) and always surrounded herself with adoring men, it's easy to see how the scandals and rumors started. The matter of marriage never ceased to be a nuisance to Elizabeth and I can certainly understand her reluctance to it...after seeing what all the men in her life did to their wives, who could blame her?
The dialect in this novel was superb, Elizabeth has some great quotes that would make me laugh out loud or give me fantastic insight into that complex brain of hers. Bottom line: Yours truly most enthusiastically recommends this outstanding novel to anyone and everyone who will listen! ...more