Reader reviews and comments on The Dovekeepers, plus links to write your own review.

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The Dovekeepers

A Novel

by Alice Hoffman

The Dovekeepers by Alice Hoffman X
The Dovekeepers by Alice Hoffman
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  • First Published:
    Oct 2011, 512 pages
    Apr 2012, 528 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
BJ Nathan Hegedus

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Power Reviewer
Louise J

Hoffman At Her Very Best!!
I have read a lot of novels about ancient Jerusalem during this era but I must begin this particular review with one word – WOW!! I was completely entranced with Alice Hoffman’s The Dovekeepers which took place during the Roman siege during the first century CE.

The story is told through the voices of four different women: Yael, Revka, Aziza and Shirah. Each of these women had secrets about where they came from, who they are, who their fathers were, and who they love. Each of the women’s stories bound them together throughout the novel emotionally and symbolically. The change in each woman’s story flowed effortlessly and leant to the dynamic retelling of this sad and tragic period in history.

The dramatic end to this story will rip your heart out and leave tear-stains on your pages as you turn them. The title The Dovekeepers has a symbolic meaning throughout the story.

I’ve read a lot of Hoffman’s work and I believe this to be her very best. I believe this will become a classic in the future and a novel that will be talked about in book groups, people’s living rooms, in the news and will be a bestseller. I for sure will be touting the merits of this book to anyone and everyone who will listen. Kudos to you Ms. Hoffman!
Power Reviewer
Diane S.

The DoveKeepers by Alice Hoffman
What an amazingly powerful novel about the fall of Jerusalem and Masada. This took Hoffman five years to write and it is said to be her masterpiece, which for me it was. Four women of uncommon strength of will, magic , love and their quest for survival. Her writing is flawless, one feels the barrenness and the struggle for life in the dessert, their torment as they watch their family members taken from them, yet find the will to go on. Trying to keep their faith in God intact and find a way to retain something of themselves and a future for their children. Wonderful!

good historical fiction
Although I read that "The Dovekeepers" was inspired by a biblical story, this atheist was able to appreciate the historical and narrative qualities of the writing. The characters have enough depth and development to make this a very satisfying piece of historical fiction. The author does a good job of intelligently weaving the stories of four women with enough just enough suspense to keep you interested to the end.

Only 400 pages too long
The love for my book club is quite strong because I read every page of this terrible book. I only read the last 180 pages because I was hoping everything would come together. I did not get my wish. It's the first book club book I've rated with a negative review. Some details are explained and explained and explained to the point I actually said out loud, "I've got it!" Other important plot developments are skimmed over. Bizarre. The ending was ridiculous. Lions showing up on the ridges as the women/children were being held would have been a good reason to let them go. Anything would have been better than the book's ending. Really terrible.
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Beyond the Book:
  The Symbolism of Doves

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