Sunday, April 26, 2015

The Dovekeepers (Alice Hoffman)

Profoundly moving, Alice Hoffman's The Dovekeepers is historical fiction but thoroughly researched.  Since it was so long ago, no one can be totally sure of all the facts surrounding the Roman siege on Masada, but Hoffman's novel about one of the most important events in Jewish history is an important read for everyone.

The Dovekeepers tells the tale of four women with separate stories who, against all odds, make it across the desert to escape the Roman persecution in Jerusalem.  Each one is unforgettable and so important to Masada's narrative; how their stories, along with those of the men in their lives, eventually intertwine makes Hoffman's novel multilayered and rich.  What happened at Masada is not a secret, and knowing how these people would eventually take their fates into their own hands is both utterly inspirational and completely heartbreaking.

Hoffman is a responsible teller of this early historical event.  The book never goes overboard with the dramatics, as a novel like this shouldn't. I highly recommend The Dovekeepers for those who want to learn more about Masada's horror.