WOW! a 5 star rating for me!! this book was FANTASTIC! it reminded me of Anita Diamant’s The Red Tent– a bit of history that outlines the powerful bond between women as they struggle in a man’s world to protect the ones that they love. so heartbreaking at times– makes you thankful for being born in this century!!
the story takes place in ancient Israel in the fortress of Masada– a stronghold where 900 Jews stood their ground against the forces of the Roman Empire. the true story goes that when the people of Masada could no longer hold down the fort they chose to commit mass suicide rather than bow down to Rome. 2 women and 5 children survive to tell the tale. this book is a fictional story of who the survivors might be.
each section is written from the perspective of one of 4 women who work together as dove keepers in the dovecotes of Masada. each ends up there for her own reason and has her own story to tell. Yael is the assassin’s daughter, Revka is the baker’s wife, Aziza is the warrior and Shirah is the witch of Moab. their triumphs and tragedies are powerful– you’ll be cheering one minute, crying the next. I. Loved. This. Book!
(this was the first book that i have ever read by Alice Hoffman and i can say that after reading it i am definitely a fan! i can’t wait to read more by her– glad to see she has a large body of work to choose from! here is what she has to say about the writing of this book: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I15cnf0_zbg&feature=player_embedded )