Ciska's Book Chest

I am an eclectic reader with preferences for crime/thriller/suspense, historical fiction, literature and contemporary fiction. For more books and other bookish posts visit my blog at Ciska's Book Chest

The Dovekeepers

The Dovekeepers - Alice Hoffman The authorAlice Hoffman was born in New York City on March 16, 1952 and grew up on Long Island. After graduating from high school in 1969, she attended Adelphi University, from which she received a BA, and then received a Mirrellees Fellowship to the Stanford University Creative Writing Center, which she attended in 1973 and 74, receiving an MA in creative writing.  She currently lives in Boston. For more information visit The synopsisIn 70 CE, nine hundred Jews held out for months against armies of Romans on a mountain in the Judean, desert, Masada. Only two women and five children survived. Based on this tragic and iconic event, Hoffman weaves a spellbinding tale of four extraordinary bold, resourceful, and sensuous women, each of whom comes to Masada by a different path. Yael’s mother died in childbirth, and her father, an expert assassin, never forgave her for that death. Revka, a village baker’s wife, watched the horrifically brutal murder of her daughter by Roman soldiers; she brings to Masada her young grandsons, rendered mute by their own witness. Aziza is a warrior’s daughter, raised as a boy, a fearless rider and expert marksman who finds passion with a fellow soldier. Shirah, born in Alexandria, is wise in the ways of ancient magic and medicine, a woman with uncanny insight and power.The lives of these four complex and fiercely independent women intersect in the desperate days of the siege. All are dovekeepers, and all are also keeping secrets — about who they are, where they come from, who fathered them, and who they love.The reviewI do not really know what my opinion is on this book. I heard a lot of good things about it and became curious. I needed a D for my A-Z challenge and thought, why not The Dovekeepers? Now I am more like why the Dovekeepers?First, if you love historical fiction this book is good. The whole fall of the old Israel, brought down by Romans has been portrayed in a very beautiful way. I saw some people write in their reviews that this story was dark, that they could not imagine that life was so hard in that period. I think the author has made a pretty accurate description on how things where, life was dark and everything was difficult and you did what your religion or superstitions told you and tried to survive. This image gets very clear in this book.Still I had trouble getting trough, the way things where written felt off. These woman told you their darkest and most precious secrets but it all felt cold. It was easy to hate all 4 woman for things they did and even if they made a decision in their lives that made sense in the name of love it still felt wrong. These woman where strong survivors, standing up against all they know to rescue their lives and that of their loved ones, to survive but that emotion did not touch me. I was not engaged at all with their survival at Masada, not cheering for them. I was just finishing a book. If you want to read the book do not hesitate but it will not be on my recommendation list.