Hey ya’ll! Hope everyone is having a fantastic weekend. Mine has been pretty good so far. I’ve been having a lot of volleyball practices, which keeps me busy and pretty entertained. I have been reading a lot too. I am going to do a CC reads post each month on the book that I have loved the best. This month’s will be the Dovekeepers by Alice Hoffman.
The Dovekeepers follows four Jewish women, their relationship to each other, and their connection to Masada. At the fall of Jerusalem, these four women find their way to Masada as it is believed it will be the safe haven against the Romans. As we know from history, Masada did not end up saving the Jews from destruction, but this novel is a wonderful tale of life on Masada. The four main characters are: Yael, the daughter of a famed assasin, Revka, a village baker’s wife, Aziza, a warrior that was raised as a boy, and Shirah, a woman knowledgeable in witchcraft and medicine. While the book is fiction, the author did a lot of research on the history of Masada to try to recreate the book as accurate as possible. I think Hoffman did an excellent job in applying her research to a fictional book.
I recommend this book to everyone. You do not have to be Jewish to fall in love with this novel. Although if you are Jewish, you will definitely want to read this – I think I may have about one Jewish person that actually reads my blog, besides my family of course. If you appreciate history, you will also want to read this book. However, I just thought it was a good read in general. The characters of the novel make you become extremely invested in their lives, and keeps you turning the pages to find out what happens to them.
One reason why I loved this book so much was because I could connect to it on a deeper level. This wasn’t just because I was Jewish, but more because I had actually been to Masada. I had climbed the Roman Path. I had stood on top of the mountain. I had gone through the Roman baths. I had looked over King Herrod’s palace. There was also a cat on top of Masada – something I still will never understand. When I was actually at Masada, I wasn’t really listening to our guide because I was dying from the hike up and I was hot. Also we were going to the Dead Sea, so that was pretty much what most of us were focusing on. However reading the book, it brought the images in my mind and on my computer to life.
The other reason I love the book is because Alice Hoffman deeply researched the history behind the mysteries of Masada and used everything very accurately. She went to the Museums at Masada to study the artifacts, which she then applied throughout the novel. Also she makes sure that the ending of the book aligns with what actually occurred in history. While about 900 or so Jews lived on top of Masada during the battle, only seven survived. Hoffman made sure to keep this fact apart of the novel. You will have to read it to find out who survives.
The only part of this book that is really random is the involvement of witchcraft, demons, and magic. These topics aren’t very prevalent in Jewish beliefs, and Jews typically do not believe in Hell either. While I thought this was sort of random, apparently it is part of the author’s style, I thought it brought a whimsical effect to the book. Go buy this book or check it out from the library like I did. Apparently you can even download audiobooks and e-books for your nook from the library.
If you ever need a good book to read just ask me because I seriously always have my nose in one. Maybe I’ll make some sweet book lists soon.
Have you read a great book recently?
What is the best book you have ever read?