The Dovekeepers by Alice Hoffman

July 22, 2016 Audio Books, Historical Fiction 11

Salutations Bookworms!

I’ve been summering hardcore, so I haven’t been in a “let’s sit in front of the computer” sort of mood lately. I mean, there are hummingbirds in my yard to stare at. Hummingbirds, you guys! But, just because I haven’t been in a computery mood doesn’t mean I haven’t been in a book mood. I am up to my eyeballs in books I’ve experienced and just haven’t told y’all about yet. Historical fiction is one of my favorite genres, as you very well know, and I will read books from basically any point in human history. Heck, I’d read books from dinosaur history if they had compelling characters… (Sidebar: How awesome would it be to read Pride and Prejudice, sans zombies, but where everyone is a dinosaur? I mean, would we assign dinos based on the characters’ personal attributes or just have to make everyone a triceratops? If you have to choose but one dinosaur, triceratops is always the correct choice. But, like Lydia’s got some raptor in her, so…) I was talking about a book wasn’t I? Oh yes! The Dovekeepers by Alice Hoffman! I read it… With my ears. What a delicious audio book treat. Let me tell you about it.

thedovekeepersThe Dovekeepers tells the tale of the siege of Masada from the perspectives of four different women. In case you’re unfamiliar with Jewish history, way back in like 70 CE, the Romans were being total dicks to basically everyone. They burned the temple in Jerusalem and murdered and pillaged all up in the holy land. Different Judaic sects fled into the dessert, and a group of them landed at Herod’s old mountain castle that was all imposing and fortress-y. Masada, said fortress, housed the bands of fleeing Jewish folk for months but it couldn’t last forever. According to Josephus, the ancient historian, only two women and five children survived to tell the tale.

Alice Hoffman put her own spin on the story, weaving mythology, history, and a dash of mysticism to bring history to life. Books like this are SO my jam. This book reminded me a lot of Anita Diamant’s The Red Tent (review), what with the biblical times (well, approximately, anyway) and the writing of women back into religious history. And, of course, Alice Hoffman being Alice Hoffman, the magical elements were perfection. The narrators of the audio book were fabulous too, and each of the four women were given a different voice. Literally. A lot of audio book narrators are really great at differentiating their voices to represent different characters, but you just can’t beat the differentiation that comes with actual different people reading each woman’s account. There are no triceratops in this book, but it’s still totally worth reading.

Alright Bookworms. Talk to me. If each Bennett sister were, in fact, a different dinosaur, which ones would they be? 

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11 Responses to “The Dovekeepers by Alice Hoffman”

    • Words For Worms

      GOOD CALL. I mean, I can totally see Kitty as a pterodactyl because flighty, but I feel like Lydia’s a bit too sinister to confine to pterodactyl. I’m sticking with my raptor. OMG though. Mr. Collins is totes a T-Rex. But like, a T-Rex who is terrible at everything because tiny arms.

  1. Andi M. (@estellasrevenge)

    YES yes yes! I have this one floating around in my digital ether of ebooks and I should really go on and read it. That Red Tent vibe is something I really crave, and Hoffman does it so well.

  2. Jenny @ Reading the End

    I love that cover, and I regret that I do not know enough about dinosaurs to categorize the Bennet sisters into dinosaurs species.

    Important question: Does this book use the word “sex” as a euphemism for anyone’s actual sex organs? Because I CANNOT DEAL WITH THAT and it is the reason I become enraged every time I think about The Red Tent. What a gross euphemism. Get a grip, writers.

    • Words For Worms

      Honestly I don’t remember if a lot of euphemisms came into play. Now that you’ve mentioned this though, I’m going to notice it and be annoyed tooooooooooo.

  3. Lindsey

    I love The Dovekeepers very, very much and I always get excited when I see other people reading (and loving) it.

    I am 100% on board with the Bennett sisters as dinosaurs. Please write this immediately.

  4. DoingDewey

    I’ve yet to read anything by Alice Hoffman, but it sounds like I should change that! I also love historical fiction and I’m always excited to discover an author who does magical realism well.

Talk to me, Bookworms!

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