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“The deaths of 900 Jews at Masada in 70 CE remains a terrifying tale. Through Hoffman's stunning prose, we meet four women as they weave their way to Herod's ancient fortress, believing the mountain top can withstand any siege. Yael, daughter of an assassin, is in search of her brother; Revka, a baker's wife, arrives with her grandsons in the wake of her daughter's murder; Shira is a sorceress and mother figure to all except her own daughter, Aziza, who has chosen the warrior's path. As dovekeepers for the besieged community, they care for both the birds and each other. This haunting novel puts an unforgettable human face on a terrible tragedy that will stay with the reader for a long time.”
— Anne Holman, The King's English, Salt Lake City, UT
Summer 2012 Reading Group
“The deaths of 900 Jews at Masada in 70 CE remains a terrifying tale. Through Hoffman's stunning prose, we meet four women as they weave their way to Herod's ancient fortress, believing the mountaintop can withstand any siege. Yael, daughter of an assassin, is in search of her brother; Revka, a baker's wife, arrives with her grandsons in the wake of her daughter's murder; Shira is a sorceress and mother figure to all except her own daughter, Aziza, who has chosen the warrior's path. As dovekeepers for the besieged community, they care for both the birds and each other. This haunting novel puts an unforgettable human face on a terrible tragedy that will stay with the reader for a long time.”
— Anne Holman, The King's English, Salt Lake City, UT
Alice Hoffman’s bestselling, spellbinding tale of four extraordinarily bold, resourceful, and sensuous women in Masada in 70 A.D. will be a four-hour miniseries airing on CBS and produced by Roma Downey and Mark Burnett, the married team behind the History Channel’s Emmy Award–winning The Bible and Fox’s feature film Son of God.
Nearly 2,000 years ago, nine hundred Jews held out for months against armies of Romans on Masada, a mountain in the Judean desert. According to the ancient historian Josephus, two women and five children survived. Based on this tragic and iconic event, Hoffman’s novel is a spellbinding tale of four extraordinarily bold, resourceful, and sensuous women, each of whom has come to Masada by a different path.
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 whom they love. The Dovekeepers is Alice Hoffman’s masterpiece.
About the Author
Alice Hoffman is the author of more than thirty works of fiction, including The World That We Knew, The Rules of Magic, The Marriage of Opposites, Practical Magic, The Red Garden, the Oprah’s Book Club selection Here on Earth, The Museum of Extraordinary Things, and The Dovekeepers. She lives near Boston.
“Splendid…Thrilling…Fueled to fever pitch by a rich imagination…Remarkable.” — Boston Globe
“Spellbinding…Ancient times come to shimmering life in this superb novel.” — Parade
“An enormously ambitious, multi-party story, richly decorated with the details of life 2,000 years ago…Dramatic and engaging” — Washington Post
“First-rate historical fiction, an epic saga of war, passion and the ferocious instinct of survival…The beating heart of the story is one that pulses through the author’s body of work: a celebration of women and their wondrous ways.” — People
“Alice Hoffman weaves fiction and fact in The Dovekeepers, a thrilling, passionate saga…The book pulses toward its stunning climax. Hoffman’s fiction is always compelling, but the history within The Dovekeepers makes this novel haunting.” — USA Today
“Hoffman makes ancient history live and breathe in this compelling story… This is both a feminist manifesto and a deeply felt tribute to courageous men and women of faith, told with the cadence and imagery of a biblical passage.” — Booklist
“The suspense keeps you barreling forward…but moments when Hoffman’s characters come to a full stop—registering what it’s like to be running out of options, experiencing their probably already false bravado evaporating in the arid mountain air—pack a timeless emotional punch.” — ELLE magazine
“[It’s] as if a wind has blown through and animated the lives on the page.” — Newsday
“A stunningly crafted work about a tragic and heroic time. It also showcases Hoffman’s immense gift for telling stories about women, magic and complex relationships. Perhaps The Dovekeepers is the masterpiece she has been working toward all along.” — Seattle Times
“Ambitious…Sure to appeal to Hoffman’s core readership.” — NY Magazine
“[The Dovekeepers] tells of the historic siege of Masada as only the bestselling author of Here on Earth and The Third Angel could…A page-turner.” — Miami Herald
“An enthralling tale rendered with consummate literary skill.” — Kirkus Reviews
“A gripping, masterful narrative…” — Daily Beast
“Hoffman’s prose is vivid and unforgettable, scorching like the desert heat, and will stay with you long after you finish the last page.” — Amazon.com
“Powerful and gripping…Hoffman finds poetry and beauty, dignity and honor, even in those perilous, blood-soaked times.” — Library Journal
“Brilliant…Read [The Dovekeepers] for Hoffman’s fine sense of narrative, history and detail as she shares the story of four women who come by various paths to Masada.” — St. Louis Post-Dispatch
“Alice Hoffman embraces the account and the woman who gave it…Her master work.” — Star-Ledger
“Bold…an in-depth and preternaturally empathic fictionalization of the months-long Roman siege of the mountain fortress of Masada.” — Kansas City Star
“Hoffman creates a vividly detailed world…Mesemerizing.” — Star Tribune
“A powerful voice for women amid war.” — San Diego Union-Tribune
“Brilliant…Read it for Hoffman’s fine sense of narrative, history and detail.” — Salt Lake Tribune
“Carefully researched…Alice Hoffman brings history to life.” — Christian Science Monitor
“Ancient times comes to shimmering life in this superb novel…Hoffman re-creates in spellbinding detail the community’s fight to survive.” — Knoxville News-Sentinel
“Magisterial…an intricate literary tapestry interweaving history and compelling dramatic narrative.” — Hadassah Magazine
“The Dovekeepers is a book as monumental as its subject, magical, moving, quite beautifully written…A genuine masterpiece.” — Daily Mail (UK)
“A real tour de force…” — The Independent (UK)
"Beautiful, harrowing, a major contribution to twenty-first century literature." — Toni Morrison, Nobel Laureate in Literature
"I am still reeling from The Dovekeepers--from the history Alice Hoffman illuminates, from the language she uses to bring these women to life. This novel is a testament to the human spirit and to love rising from the ashes of war. But most of all, this novel is one that will never be forgotten by a reader." --Jodi Picoult, author of Sing You Home
“In her remarkable new novel, Alice Hoffman holds a mirror to our ancient past as she explores the contemporary themes of sexual desire, women's solidarity in the face of strife, and the magic that's quietly present in our day-to-day living. Put The Dovekeepers at the pinnacle of Hoffman's extraordinary body of work. I was blown away.” —Wally Lamb, author of The Hour I First Believed