Customer Reviews for

The Dovekeepers

Average Rating 4
( 307 )
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5 Star

(158)

4 Star

(87)

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(28)

2 Star

(16)

1 Star

(18)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

34 out of 34 people found this review helpful.

Wonderfully Written, Worth Re-reading

When I read a book like The Dovekeepers, I find myself at a loss when trying to review it. I don't feel that my words can do justice to the story and wonderful writing that Alice Hoffman brings to this novel. I scrambled to read this novel at the last minute, and even h...
When I read a book like The Dovekeepers, I find myself at a loss when trying to review it. I don't feel that my words can do justice to the story and wonderful writing that Alice Hoffman brings to this novel. I scrambled to read this novel at the last minute, and even having read it for free, I know it will be a book that I will go out and purchase to read once more, and make everyone I know read it also. The story tells the separate but intertwined stories of four women during the Roman occupation of Jerusalem. That these women survive, and break rules (religious laws), and love in their unexpected ways during this time period is amazing, and not always so different from some of the struggles that women in parts of the world live now. Not having known the story of Masada, I am curious to learn more, and then re-read The Dovekeepers, I feel if I have a better grasp of the history behind the fiction, that I may enjoy the novel more, if that is even possible. I think that this is by far the best book I have read in the past year, and will be telling as many people as I can to pick this one up.

ARC Reviewed by Gabi for Book Sake.

posted by BookSake on October 13, 2011

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Most Helpful Critical Review

10 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

Heavy, historical fiction

There is certainly a good story here, but be ready to accept the fact that it is almost always depressing in tone. The novel succeeds in creating a believable fictional story from a factual event from ancient Hebrew history and making the harsh realities (particularly t...
There is certainly a good story here, but be ready to accept the fact that it is almost always depressing in tone. The novel succeeds in creating a believable fictional story from a factual event from ancient Hebrew history and making the harsh realities (particularly the misogyny) of living in those times come alive for the reader. The mix of superstition, religious practices, and culture/customs of the time are woven into the plot and help one to understand the behaviors of the various characters. While I found this interesting, I made sure to pick out a much lighter read as a follow up.

posted by JustMyTwoCents on October 24, 2011

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  • Posted January 8, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    A look inside Masada

    Four women find their lives interwoven as the Romans kill the inhabitants of Jerusalem and the surrounding lands. All four end up in Masada, a fortress built for a cruel king, now their safe haven. As their tales unfold, each woman is drawn into the lives of the others. There are, however, secrets that all keep. They are Yael, Revka, Aziza, and Shirah. They care for the doves in the Dovecote, sharing food, time, and space. As their time in Masada unfolds, you will learn of their loves, their fears, and their reality. Will they make it out alive? What happens with the loves in their lives? Once you get into the story, you won't be able to put it down. While I found the book slow to start, once it picked up it wouldn't let me go. These women seemed very real and their stories were very compelling and complex. There were many times I wanted to cry with them, laugh with them, hope with them. I purchased this book because a group I belong to on Goodreads was reading it and I am so thankful I did! Now I want to read more about the actual event this book is based on. I recommend it to all historical fiction readers, and to book clubs everywhere. There is a lot to discuss within these pages.

    17 out of 18 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 26, 2011

    GOOD READ

    I saw the cover a few weeks ago and thought maybe ?
    I came back to it several times still not sure ?
    Had time for a free hour on my nook, why not ?
    My hour was over before I new it, and all I wanted was to continue on the journey.
    I purchased while still in store so I could go home to finish.
    Nice work Alice Hoffman.
    I enjoyed it.

    6 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 14, 2011

    .

    Really good read.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 25, 2012

    Not Typical Alice Hoffman

    I have been a big fan of this author for many years, and I'm always excited when one of her books is released. I expected another of the tales I enjoy: a story full of magic and longing surrounding female characters with plenty of depth. This book provided those things but in a way that is very different from Hoffman's usual. Since it is historical fiction the reader will find many Biblical references and descriptions of actual places in and around Israel. The plot is devoid of modern topics and settings, which can be good or bad depending on the reader's preference. Overall I enjoyed the book but I did find it to be a tedious read at times; one has to pay full attention to follow the storyline and stay abreast of the change in perspectives. At the end of the day Alice Hoffman could write about carpet installation and I would love it. I definitely applaud her for branching out and growing as an author over time. I will continue to eagerly anticipate the release of her books!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 29, 2012

    Historical Novel at it's best!

    This novel describes the whole Jewish history of the Roman defeat of the Jews in Palestine-their escape to Masada and the pact to end the lives of all Jews on Masada rather than be enslaved by the Romans. Hoffman tells us that even in 72BC, Jews worshipped differently just as we do today. Hoffman does tell the story with elements of magical realism. But this doesn't detract from the historical significance of the novel.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 9, 2014

    Mystical and Magical

    Alice Hoffman tells the tale of the Jewish people in 70 ce escaping from Jerusalem, taking refuge in Masada, only to be once again attacked by the Romans. Accounts of this history say that 2 women and 5 children survived. Alice Hoffman has taken details of history and woven them into a story, told by 4 different women. Amazing how each woman has their own distinct voice.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 26, 2013

    A quick and easy read!

    Interesting historical fiction book set in the post-temple era. Provides an insight as to how the people survived their expulsion.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 27, 2013

    A novel based on a true event in history, but very bloody.

    The above rating is not correct. I only gave it three stars, but it popped up with four for some reason. Alice Hoffman is a very good writer, but she goes on too long. I found the book very hard to get into, and would have given up on it were it not for the fact that I had volunteered to lead the discussion for our book club. The first character wanders through the desert for the first 100 or so pages, and makes cuts on her leg to keep track of the passage of time. And it only gets bloodier and more graphic from there, from snapping the doves necks to the culminating event of the communal throat slashings.

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  • Posted March 9, 2013

    I enjoyed this book.

    I enjoyed this book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 7, 2013

    I've never written a review before but love historical fiction.

    I've never written a review before but love historical fiction. I have a hard time finding books that have some meat to them and not just some silly love story. This book had me doing research to discover the true story of Masada. This book brought the tragedy to life and gave a possible glimpse of what a woman's life would be during that time. Thoroughly enjoyed it!

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  • Posted January 31, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    Great Read. I love historical fiction and this book lived up to

    Great Read. I love historical fiction and this book lived up to its drama of keeping me intrigued. I truly enjoyed learning some of the historical events of this time period, so much so that I researched actual history of this time period. I was hooked. Thanks Alice Hoffman!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 1, 2013

    Something different

    I enjoyed the book although its different than what i normally read. It still amazes me on the belief system That propelled people back then into how they lived their lives, what pushed them into war, and of course the every present demorilization of women. Its a very good story and kept me interested to the end.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 27, 2012

    A Real Page-Turner

    I didn't expect this to be an "action" story, but there was a lot going on, and for the most part, it really drew me in. It's the kind of book that you often don't want to put down, and when you do, you don't want to stay away for long. It's not without its shortcomings, though: Although some of it sang, some of it was overwritten (where was the editor???). The biggest flaw is that although there are four narrators, I couldn't make out distinctive voices. All in all, this was a fun read, which I would definitely recommend.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 22, 2012

    thoroughly enjoyes it.

    it was really a good read. the author was very creative.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 12, 2012

    Highly Recommended

    A very good historical fiction book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 29, 2012

    great read!

    This story had me captivated in the first few paragraphs. It is a beautifully written tale of courage and survival that takes place during one of the western world's most brutal historical times. It bound me on a very emotional level, experiencing horror, sorrow and gritty resolve right beside these very believable characters.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 21, 2012

    Worth your time

    I appreciated the good historical research. It put the whole majestic story into perspective. The hardships, the danger and the Faith exhibited tells many stories.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 17, 2012

    Good Book

    Enjoyed this book. made you want to read every word.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 31, 2012

    Amazing history!

    Amazing history!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 8, 2012

    Intriguing........sometimes dragged

    The story told is extremely interesting as were the characters. I liked the way that the story unfolded through the eyes of 4 separate women and how their lives became intertwined. I thought that parts of the story dragged in that the author just kept repeating what the conditions were in that part of the story--- I got it - it's hot in the desert, they were running out of food, etc.... It was an interesting study of the culture and the people at that time. If you liked the Red Tent, you will most likely enjoy this book although I don't think it was written as well.

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