The Dovekeeper

by Alice Hoffman | Literature & Fiction |
ISBN: 1620900017 Global Overview for this book
Registered by wingbookstogivewing of Springville, Tennessee USA on 9/29/2014
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4 journalers for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by wingbookstogivewing from Springville, Tennessee USA on Monday, September 29, 2014
I got this book just for Bookcrossing and will read and or release, I don't know which yet.

Four women with very different past lives, find themselves working together as dovekeepers at the old fortress built by King Harrod and now occupied by their fellow Jews. They are there in the fortress on top of the mountain in Masada, part of the Judean desert.

The time period is 70 C.E. and the Romans have stormed the Temples and have driven the Jews from their Holy Land. The Roman armies destroy, steal, and rape, and kill everything in sight. The Jews flee in different directions hoping to find safety, while others stay and band forces, determined to fight back.

Journal Entry 2 by wingbookstogivewing at Seattle, Washington USA on Thursday, November 27, 2014

Released 5 yrs ago (11/27/2014 UTC) at Seattle, Washington USA

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Releasing as a selection from the General Lit VBB, Happy Reading!

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Journal Entry 3 by wingBooksandMusicwing at Seattle, Washington USA on Friday, December 12, 2014
Thank you for sending this book, I am looking forward to reading it.

Journal Entry 4 by wingBooksandMusicwing at Seattle, Washington USA on Monday, October 12, 2015
This is a fictional story based on the history of the Jews on Masada in 73 CE. I have been to Masada and like everywhere in Israel, the past lives and breathes. The past is the past but it is also the present, you can feel it. It is incredibly powerful and very moving. For me, the most powerful experience on Masada was watching a scribe work. The Roman Empire is gone, the Jews are still here. Kol Hakavod! Chazak! Chazak! Venischazeik! (Be strong! Be strong! And may we be strengthened!) For anyone who does not know the story of Masada; Jews had taken refuge on Masada as the Roman Empire took Jerusalem and enslaved/and or killed all the Jews of the lands they took. When all the other Jews had been conquered, the Romans of the 10th Legion gathered to take Masada. When the Jews, who had fought very bravely, knew that the battle was over and they were to be enslaved or killed, they made the decision to take their own lives. It was done systematically by slitting the throats with the last person slitting his own. I can 't judge that, I don't know if they did right or wrong or what I would do in that situation. I can only love them, grieve for them, and carry them into the future.
As for the fictional story; I have a very serious problem with adultery and this story has quite a bit of it. It made the reading bitter for me. Also, the story contains idol worship and witchcraft by a Jewish character that she calls the Witch of Moav. I don't know the history of these things in Judaism and was a little uncomfortable with it and confused by it. Idol worship is strictly forbidden by Jewish law and I think that bird bone divination and the casting of spells are considered witchcraft and are also forbidden.

Journal Entry 5 by wingBooksandMusicwing at Seattle, Washington USA on Monday, February 01, 2016
I am listing this book in the ABC VBB

Journal Entry 6 by wingBooksandMusicwing at Seattle, Washington USA on Sunday, May 08, 2016
This book was not selected in the ABC VBB. I am unsure of its future but will probably save it for another box.

Journal Entry 7 by wingBooksandMusicwing at Seattle, Washington USA on Friday, June 17, 2016
I am re-listing this book in bookstogive's Lit/Fic VBB, which is where I believe I got it from in the first place. It is an interesting book, I hope someone else gives it a try.

Journal Entry 8 by wingBooksandMusicwing at Seattle, Washington USA on Tuesday, September 20, 2016
Selected! I will mail it tomorrow.

Journal Entry 9 by perryfran at North Ogden, Utah USA on Monday, September 26, 2016
Received today...thanks! I recently read an Alice Hoffman novel and really enjoyed it. Looking forward to this one.

Journal Entry 10 by perryfran at Elk Grove, California USA on Thursday, September 12, 2019
This novel is told from the perspective of four women who were present during the siege of Masada by the Romans in 73 CE. The siege was one of the final events in the First Jewish–Roman War, occurring on and around a large plateau in current-day Israel. Masada was a fortress originally built by King Herod as a palace in 37 BCE. The siege was chronicled by Josephus and was said to result in the mass suicide of Jewish rebels and families at Masada.



The four women narrators of the novel are the titular dovekeepers who work in the dovecoats at the Masada fortress. They tend to the doves there mainly to collect their waste for use as fertilizer for the orchards on the plateau. Each of the four narrates a portion of the novel which gives the background on each woman and how they ended up at Masada. Each woman has a unique story to tell and they all seem to go against some of the laws of the Jewish faith. The first woman, Yael, has an adulterous affair with a married warrior before going to Masada resulting in the birth of her son. She also cuts herself which is also against Jewish law, to keep track of her time in the desert. One of the women, Shirah, was considered "The Witch of Moab" for using spells and potions and she also had an adulterous affair with the leader of the rebels at Masada. In addition she had tattoos which were also taboo.

Although the events of this novel played out against the background of a very compelling event, to me, most of the narrative became somewhat tedious. I also thought the voices of the four women were indistinguishable and their stories kept going on and on making me wish the novel would come to an end. I would, however, like to read more about Masada and the Roman-Jewish wars -- a piece of history that I really know nothing about. I have also read some other Hoffman novels that I generally enjoyed, but for me, this one was just too long and fell a little flat.

Journal Entry 11 by perryfran at Wishlist Tag Game , A Bookcrossing member -- Controlled Releases on Thursday, September 12, 2019

Released 4 mos ago (9/12/2019 UTC) at Wishlist Tag Game , A Bookcrossing member -- Controlled Releases

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Wishlist tag going to stringofpearls in California. Enjoy!

Journal Entry 12 by stringofpearls at Escondido, California USA on Monday, September 16, 2019
Thanks perryfran for tagging me and sending this book! I’m intrigued by the story line, haven’t read anything about this time and place in history.

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