Georgina Ortiz's Reviews > The Dovekeepers

The Dovekeepers by Alice Hoffman
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Jul 10, 12

Read from April 17 to July 10, 2012 — I own a copy, read count: 1

I started this book (with high hopes) on April 17, 2012. I finished it today, July 10, 2012. It took me three months to read it. Why?

The first half of the book was why. The “voice” of the first character was too “melodious” for my taste. The writing, which I guess aimed for a dreamy/ethereal feel, became insufferable at times. Okay, most of the time. So a few weeks into the plot, I decided to put the book down. I was even tempted to put it away for good (The writing was too gushy I felt I was getting a toothache every time I would try reading it again).

When I decided, once and for all, to finish it this week, I suddenly noticed the plot picking up pace. Maybe I liked the characters more (the book, by the way, is divided into four parts—with the four main women characters speaking for each part), and I could see glimpses of the Alice Hoffman who wrote Here on Earth. However, the sappy reflections masquerading as frilly, frilly sentences still abound—becoming overwhelming at times. Good thing I managed to read through them and see the book redeem itself in the end.

I can understand why the author got carried away with her writing, though. The topic, the siege of Masada, is a goldmine of potential (fictional) novels: dark, mysterious, unverified, and “romantic.” You could see this potential in the last few pages of the book, when Hoffman was tackling the actual siege and the “suicides.” Those few pages, by the way, exhibited the book’s strength—when it actually dealt (head-on) with the Masada story.

The book, for me, held much prospect. Strong characters, fancy words and equally fancy reflections (while most fell flat, some were actually insightful), promising story and ambiance. Too bad it had the tendency of falling victim to the maudlin. Like a pretty girl with too much make-up.
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Reading Progress

04/18/2012
19.0% "This book is like, punctuated with sighs. Sigh. --G.O."
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Comments (showing 1-15 of 15) (15 new)

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message 1: by Katrice (new)

Katrice Hoffman :)actually just got a copy of The Third Angel myself.


Georgina Ortiz Not feeling it so far; the voice is too "pensive" and "dreamy" for my taste. May have worked for "Here on Earth" but not in this setting :( Maybe it's just me though...and I'm done with only 20 percent :) There's still (a lot of) hope :D


message 3: by Katrice (new)

Katrice Georgina wrote: "Not feeling it so far; the voice is too "pensive" and "dreamy" for my taste. May have worked for "Here on Earth" but not in this setting :( Maybe it's just me though...and I'm done with only 20 per..."

haha. actually have kind of felt that the last few books nga ARE a bit to "pensive" and "dreamy". Too surreal to really relate too. . . but she has a lot of cred with me on the strength of "Here on Earth". I honestly consider that one of the best books ever :)


Georgina Ortiz Katrice wrote: "Georgina wrote: "Not feeling it so far; the voice is too "pensive" and "dreamy" for my taste. May have worked for "Here on Earth" but not in this setting :( Maybe it's just me though...and I'm done..."

I thought "Here on Earth" was really amazing, too. I even bought a paperback so I could have my own copy (you recommended it to me and let me borrow your copy--eons ago heehee). "Here on Earth" was the reason why I wanted to read A. Hoffman's other works. But her "White Horses" disappointed me, and I did not finish reading it. I really hope "The Dovekeepers" will redeem itself eventually. I plan to finish this though :)


message 5: by Lance (new)

Lance McMurchy interesting book! I visited Masada last year. I would keen to give this one a read.


Georgina Ortiz Lance wrote: "interesting book! I visited Masada last year. I would keen to give this one a read."

Plodding through it...if you're used to historical fiction that gives it to you straight, this may not be for you :( 20 percent into the book and I still feel it's too melodramatic for my taste :( but maybe it will improve, hoping it will improve...There isn't that much focus on Masada yet. Hoping to visit Masada one day too!


message 7: by Katrice (new)

Katrice First of all can I say I love the last paragraph of your review :) "A pretty girl with too much make-up."

Hoffman is a bit problematic for me now, like we discussed previously, she shot up in my estimation on the strength of "Here on Earth" but. . . have actually found her a bit less. . . compelling as I read a bit more of her stuff. Siguro the only other one I really kinda like so far was Practical Magic. And yeah it has a lot to do with her having a good story and plot that gets lost in to much "make up".

I don't know. I still want to like her. I have a copy of The Third Angel on my shelf. Maybe that will do it for me again.


Georgina Ortiz Katrice wrote: "First of all can I say I love the last paragraph of your review :) "A pretty girl with too much make-up."

Hoffman is a bit problematic for me now, like we discussed previously, she shot up in my e..."


Thanks thanks Kat! :) Yup, too much details get in the way of a promising story sometimes. In the case of The Dovekeepers, there really was a deluge of fanciful words/reflections that seemed startlingly out of place. But the fact that I got to finish it proves that Hoffman kinda made it good in the last few pages. She finally "confronted" the story, so to speak :)


message 9: by Katrice (new)

Katrice Georgina wrote: "Katrice wrote: "First of all can I say I love the last paragraph of your review :) "A pretty girl with too much make-up."

Hoffman is a bit problematic for me now, like we discussed previously, she..."


You know who's still really good as far as I'm concerned? Barbara Kingsolver.


Georgina Ortiz Katrice wrote: "Georgina wrote: "Katrice wrote: "First of all can I say I love the last paragraph of your review :) "A pretty girl with too much make-up."

Hoffman is a bit problematic for me now, like we discusse..."


Hmmmm, will try reading her Poisonwood Bible again :)


message 11: by Katrice (new)

Katrice Georgina wrote: "Katrice wrote: "Georgina wrote: "Katrice wrote: "First of all can I say I love the last paragraph of your review :) "A pretty girl with too much make-up."

Hoffman is a bit problematic for me now, ..."


oh my god. You know. I think I still have your copy of the Poisonwood Bible! Hahahahahahaha! oh no. you know we really should actually see each other in the real world. . . could give it back and maybe we could have an exchange rin. . . what do you fancy from the books have reviewed so far ;)


Georgina Ortiz Uy it's okay! :D Haven't really thought about it in years :D you're right though, we should meet up! Your Bill Bryson books nalang muna and that A Lion's Tale book, if it's okay :) How about you, which do you fancy from my library? :)


message 13: by Katrice (new)

Katrice Georgina wrote: "Uy it's okay! :D Haven't really thought about it in years :D you're right though, we should meet up! Your Bill Bryson books nalang muna and that A Lion's Tale book, if it's okay :) How about you, w..."

Hahaha. Am not surprised you want the Bryson books. Would be happy to spread the love ;) Am kinda surprised that you want A Lion's Tales though. . . don't get me wrong its a good book (have to remember to review) but, I'm a bit surprised ;)

Hay. Strangely enough I do think I want to borrow the Dovekeepers off you ;)and maybe White Teeth :)


Georgina Ortiz Hahaha, just checked it out, and I realized it's about wrestling! :D That's why you were surprised :D Was just curious why you gave it five stars :) Will wait for your review on this one :)

Drat, my Dovekeepers is in Kindle format :( Do you read on your computer (pretty nasty eye-tiring business, though)? I can try having it converted, though it takes the joy out of the reading experience :( I can definitely bring White Teeth (and a dozen other books—mostly YA haha—in printed format) :)


message 15: by Katrice (new)

Katrice Georgina wrote: "Hahaha, just checked it out, and I realized it's about wrestling! :D That's why you were surprised :D Was just curious why you gave it five stars :) Will wait for your review on this one :)

Drat, ..."


Haha. Pressure naman sa review sa A Lions Tale. . . I think that's why its taking me long. I want to do it justice because it combines two things I kinda love. . . but its so hard to explain sometimes why am a wrestling fan.

But as a book lover, its easier to explain. . . Basically because its an good and interesting autobiography/memoir. The guy is clear and articulate its just. . . he happens to be a wrestler. I think it can be enjoyed as just a tale of a young man following his dream :)


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