Alison's Reviews > The Dovekeepers

The Dovekeepers by Alice Hoffman
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's review
Dec 05, 2011

really liked it

The time: 70 C.E.; the place: Masada. Four women's lives are brought together as they face the Romans who want nothing more than to annihilate the Jews. Yael: her mother died in childbirth and her father (an expert assassin) has never forgiven her; although she tries her best to please her father, he treats her like a dog. Revka: the baker's wife watched her daughter die horrifically at the hands of the Romans; it is up to her to care for her grandsons who were made mute when they witnessed their mother's death. Aziza: an expert warrior daughter raised as a son because it was illegal for women to pick up a weapon. And, Shirah, trained in ancient magic and medicine, who has insight and power. The four women meet as dovekeepers and their lives become intricately interwoven. The story tells of their struggles for survival under the worst of circumstances, and they all have secrets. This story is based on the true battle that took place beginning in 70 C.E. when 900 Jews took refuge in the fortress known as Masada - trying to protect themselves from the savagery of the Romans. In the end, when it was clear that there would be no escaping the Romans, nearly 900 Jews took their own lives rather than be tortured by the Romans. Only a handful of Jews survived to tell the story.
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