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Tuesday, January 5, 2016

First Book of 2016

I finished my first book of 2016 so I will head to the library today to pick up something new. As I mentioned in an earlier post, I purchased a copy of The Dovekeepers by Alice Hoffman. This book has been made into a mini series. I see it was released in America in March 2015. Maybe it is available on netflix. After reading this book, I would like to see the series. Roma Downey of Touched by An Angel fame was instrumental in filming this production.

I remember seeing a miniseries on Masada in the early 80s. If you are not familiar with Masada, it was the Jewish fortress that was at one time Herod the Great's desert palace. It was a magnificent undertaking because it was beautifully built, contained its own water supply in the desert and held enough food store rooms to feed many people for many years. Because it was on a steep mesa, there were gardens where food could be grown as well.  When Jerusalem fell to the Romans in 70 AD several zealot Jewish sects went to Masada, hoping to recreate their own Jerusalem, confident that the Romans could never breach the walls of Masada.  But just as the Titanic was unsinkable and it sunk, Masada was not impenetrable.  Rome went to great lengths to destroy the Jews there. But the Jewish people chose to die at their own hands rather than be tortured, killed or enslaved by the Roman legion. Suicide is forbidden in the Jewish faith but these people felt God would understand their desire to die with dignity.  The only historian who tells of Masada is Josephus. He reports that over 900 people died at Masada but the bones of only 28 bodies have been found in the archeological dig there. So Masada is  still a mystery.

The Dovekeepers focuses on four women who have gone to Masada for refuge. All four work in the dovecotes. Doves were kept for eggs, for meat and for their droppings that were used as fertilizer in the orchards.  Jael is a young Jewish woman who has red hair and freckles. This marks her out as different from most Jewish women.  She is also pregnant and unmarried. Revka is a grandmother of two young boys who are mute due to the atrocities that they have seen done to their mother. Revka's son in law becomes a fierce warrior intent on destroying as many Roman soldiers as he can to avenge his wife's death. Shirah is called the witch of Moab. She has come to Masada with her three children to follow her first love, the charismatic leader of Masada.  The stories of the lives of these women are riveting and very enlightening about the time in which they lived. For those of you who are Bible Scholars you will see how the Jewish people worshipped other gods. God's people seemed to like to cover all their bases in their worship of idols along with worship of Jehovah.

So if you like history, and you enjoy reading about the relationships of women, The Dovekeepers is a book for you.

5 comments:

Heather said...

Sounds like a book I would enjoy. I love history, so most of what I read has to do with history in one way or another.

Terri D said...

I think we tried watching the first part of that series and just couldn't get into it. I'm sure the book is much better and is probably where I should have started before watching the program. Thanks for the review!

Arlene Grimm said...

Heather I just picked up two more books by Alice Hoffman. Terri, I am going to see if I can find this series. The book was rather complicated so I think reading the book might be helpful.

~Lavender Dreamer~ said...

I really like Alice Hoffman but I haven't read this book yet. Thanks for the good review. Happy reading!

Gina said...

Arlene, you are finished already! Wow! That book sounds very interesting. I did see the Masada miniseries a few years ago. It was very good.