the dovekeepers

title: The Dovekeepers

author: Alice Hoffman

genre: Historical fiction, fall of Masada, sisters, daughters

suggested by: Sara R.

dates read: November 5th – November 11th

review: 5 out of 5 stars

summary: Yael’s father is an assassin and her mother died giving birth to her, which has set her father against her.  Revka’s husband is murdered before she and the rest of her family flee the town they live in.  Aziza was raised as a boy and taught to live as a warrior.  Shirah was shown the ways of magic and medicine before leaving her mother’s home at the age of 12.  These four women find their lives intertwined as they make a home in Masada, the refuge of 900 Jews during the time of Roman massacres throughout Judea.

personal thoughts: I loved how each woman had a unique voice and the way Hoffman wove their stories together.  Such tragedy but also such strength.  She did not shy away from talking about the difficult stuff, which made for a richer story.  The mystical and fantastical parts of the story reminded me of “Of Bees and Mist,” one of the earlier books I read this year.  I also liked how independent each woman was, how they didn’t need a man to care for them, but had enough tenderness to love.  This was another beautiful story.

favorite quotes:
“The voice that arises out of the silence is something no one can imagine until it is heard.  It roars when it speaks, it lies to you and convinces you, it steals from you and leaves you without a single word of comfort.” p. 4

“The sisters were so close their words were like beads on the same strand of gold.” p. 93

“Anguish such as ours is fed on bones and blood.” p. 182

“Our rest is formed by our waking life and our waking life is formed by our sorrows.” p. 251

“although words were God’s first creation, silence was closer to His divine spirit, and that prayers given in silence were infinitely greater than the thousands of words men might offer up to heaven.” p. 272


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