Reading Roundup: Bealeton Book Club Reads The Dovekeepers
The Dovekeepers by Alice Hoffman, was the February selection of the Bealeton Book Club. This rich historical narrative is told from the perspectives of four Jewish woman, woven around the story of Masada between 70-73 C.E. The four women are Yael, Revka, Aziza, and Shirah; they each have interesting backgrounds and their lives intertwine as they each become dovekeepers at the fortress Masada. These strong female characters overcome tragic loss and show great physical and spiritual strength in the face of the Roman siege of Masada.
Our book club members had different favorites among the characters.
Yael is from a family of assassins, who must overcome her past to face her future.
Revka is a baker’s wife who witnessed horrifying loss and must stay strong for her grandsons.
Aziza is the daughter of Shirah, but is a warrior at heart who desires to join in the fight against the Roman soldiers.
Shirah is a woman with many secrets who is also a mystic and healer.
The four voices resonated with our book club members, as the roles of women during the time period of Masada were contrasted to women’s changing roles throughout history and currently. The history of Masada, as told by Josephus, was also discussed, along with conversation about the current situation in the Middle East.
Also of note, The Dovekeepers is being produced as a four-hour TV miniseries event on CBS from March 31st – April 1st, 2015.
The members of the Bealeton Book Club recommend this novel as a good historical read; they particularly appreciated the four different perspectives explored in the book.
If you are looking for similar reads, try the following books:
After This by Alice McDermott
The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
Celestial Navigation by Anne Tyler
Cleopatra’s Daughter by Michelle Moran
Daughter of Fortune by Isabel Allende
Green Darkness by Anya Seton
Helen of Troy by Margaret George
The Heretic’s Daughter by Kathleen Kent
I am Forbidden by Anouk Markovits
The Invisible Bridge by Julie Orringer
The Last Time They Met by Anita Shreve
Life Mask by Emma Donoghue
The Museum of Extraordinary Things by Alice Hoffman
The Red Tent by Anita Diamant
The Sandcastles Girls by Chris Bohjalian
The Bealeton Book Clubs meet once per month. If you would like to join us, please check our schedule for dates, times, and reading selections:
Mary Sue, Adult Reference, Bealeton branch library