Review Time: The Dovekeepers by Alice Hoffman

It is hard to know where to begin with this book, but I will say this: I absolutely loved it. It was a bit of a long read for me, I am usually a pretty fast reader but this book was so lush and so detailed that I found it difficult to move at my usual pace. It is definitely the kind of book that appeals to me, at its core it is a story about the beauty, passion and magic of being a woman and the price that is paid for being as such. Combine that with the incredible historical setting and Hoffman’s detailed prose and you have a book that this reader just devoured.
So, without further ado and before I digress too much, here is my review for The Dovekeepers by Alice Hoffman, published by Simon & Schuster.
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The Dovekeepers focuses on the events that took place in the two years leading up to the massacre and is divided into four parts, each part narrated by a different woman. The women each have a unique voice and story to share but they are all bound together through their work at the dovecotes. Yael carries a terrible guilt; her father has always blamed her for her mother's death, which occurred during Yael's birth and she is burdened with carrying a child out of wedlock. Revka has lost both her beloved husband and daughter to brutal violence and is left to care for her traumatized grandsons. Aziza is a warrior, secretly raised as a boy who finds herself falling in love with a celebrated soldier. Shirah is a witch, a powerful medicine woman who is wise in the ways of ancient magic. Hoffman elegantly weaves their stories into one and does a remarkable job of giving each woman a powerful narrative, every time one character’s section was over I was terribly sad to leave her behind but was quickly drawn into the world of the next. Despite the oppression and violence the women are faced with, they are all strong, resilient and powerful in their own special way. I was deeply moved by each character’s story.
The writing is impeccably detailed, often this level of detail does not work for me but for some reason this book was different. Whenever I was reading, I felt so completely drawn into the world and so emotionally connected to the events that were happening within.
The book was tragic in that really beautiful kind of way that is difficult to describe, it made me feel proud and sad to be a woman all at the same time. The Dovekeepers tells a truly captivating story that is haunting, passionate and magical. A breathtaking book.


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