Over five years in the writing,
The Dovekeepers is Alice Hoffman's most ambitious and
mesmerizing novel, a tour de force of imagination and research, set
in ancient Israel.
In 70 C.E., 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. 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 what they have witnessed. Aziza is a
warrior's daughter, raised as a boy, a fearless rider and an 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 whom they love. The
Dovekeepers is Alice Hoffman's masterpiece.