The Book: The Dovekeepers, by Alice Hoffman
The Blurb: Four bold, resourceful, and sensuous women come to Masada by a different path. Yael’s mother died in childbirth, and her father 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 twin 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 another soldier. Shirah is wise in the ways of ancient magic and medicine, a woman with uncanny insight and power. The four lives intersect in the desperate days of the siege, as the Romans draw near. 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 Babble: Entwining the lives of four very different woman following the fall of Jerusalem and subsequent flight to the stronghold of Masada, The Dovekeepers is a masterpiece of history, emotion, and strength in the ebb and flow of tragedy by Alice Hoffman who is quickly becoming one of my favorite authors. Yael, Revka, Aziza and Shirah each bring to Masada the ghosts of their past lives and individual journeys. And there in Masada they must face and draw strength from their past lives in order to survive the current circumstance. Hoffman is an unflinching, forceful writer, pulling me in and causing me to invest heavily in the lives of these woman and their surroundings. I highly recommend this book for serious reading.