By: Alice Hoffman
Historical Novel set during the time of the Fall of Masada.
I’m a big fan of Alice Hoffman, and so was very excited to get her latest book, The Dovekeepers. The book was indeed interesting, telling the story of the Fall of Masada (in 74 CE) through the lives of four unique women living in Masada in the last few years before the fall.
Hoffman fans should be aware that this is a departure from her other books. Since I did not know about Masada before starting the book, I found that reading a little background helped me appreciate the book more. I would recommend you first read the opening section in this history page to more fully appreciate the fictional account of Hoffman’s Masada story.
Since Hoffman’s other books contain magical elements, I was sometimes not sure whether she intended all of the magical details here to be taken as magic, or as the superstitions of the time the book is set in. But then perhaps what is magic is much like what is a miracle – it may come down to the individual’s belief system.
The four main characters have different strengths, wisdom, faults and loves, and their story is a very interesting look into their time and culture. While I cannot say it was my favorite read this year, it was very worth reading and I recommend it.