The lives of four sensuous, bold and remarkable women intersect in the year AD 70, in the desperate days of the siege of Masada, when supplies are dwindling and the Romans are drawing near. All are dovekeepers, and all are keepers of secrets - about who they are, where they come from, who fathered them and whom they love.
There is Yael, the assassin's daughter whose heartbreak leads to her true path in the ruins of the desert; Revka, the baker's wife who loses her dearest treasure on Earth yet finds the strength to protect her family; Aziza, the warrior's beloved who leads a secret life not even those closest to her could imagine; and Marit, beautiful witch of Moab, a woman as loyal as she is dangerous.
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"Beautiful, harrowing, a major contribution to twenty-first century literature." (Toni Jordan)
"Hoffman makes ancient history live and breathe in this compelling story." (Booklist)
The women of the dovecote epitomise courage, dignity, faith even though their story, the big picture of history anyway, is already written and they cannot win. Gaining and keeping control, maintaining integrity at the level of the Self, when the forces arrayed against you cannot be overcome, that's the message of this beautifully written, beautifully spoken book
A tough one to get into but compelling once the story is established. Graphically violent at times. An interesting insight into community and beliefs of the time. Overall it was enjoyable.
Loved it! I wasn't sure if I would enjoy a story set in this time period but I really did. Be warned there are a few images that will haunt you. Hoffman's writing is poetic and moving.
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