November 18, 2011

visiting the Dovekeepers

Looking down from Masada, you can see one of the Roman camps.
The Dovekeepers
author Alice Hoffman
publisher:  Simon and Schuster
source: purchased myself

In January and again in November, I visited Masada.   Masada is a mesa in the desert of Israel where a settlement of 950 Jews fought off Roman invaders in the years 70-73 AD.  It took months for the Romans to build ramparts up to the settlement.  The Jewish people vowed it was better to die FREE in mass suicide than to become slaves of the Romans.   They burned all their belongings, but left the storerooms full of food to show the Romans, "We didn't die because of starvation."  In the end, only 2 women and 5 children survived.

Alice Hoffman has taken this true story to weave a tale of four women living at Masada during this time.  As soon as I heard about this book, I knew it was a must-read.

Hoffman does not disappoint.  The four fictional women have vastly different backgrounds.  They are thrown together to care for the doves at Masada.  Yael's mother had died in childbirth; her father and brother are known as assassins.    Revka's husband was a baker, she takes on his trade and uses it for her own purposes.   Aziza is expert in the warrior ways of men and Shirah is a woman with magical properties and medicine.

Even if you never make it to Masada, the book is well worth reading for all the character development Hoffman has provided. 

I shot the two photos this month while on top of Masada.
the Salt Sea (Dead Sea) at a distance

No comments: