Wednesday, February 06, 2013

On My Way to Masada

I am on my way to Israel next week and I am reading The Dovekeepers by Alice Hoffman. I am liking this story set in the fortress called Masada in the Judean Desert overlooking the Dead Sea; a base from which the Israelis fought back against the Romans in 70 AD.   This story is filled with stories about magic, dreams, survival, and animal and bird symbols such as doves, ravens, goats, scorpions, and lions. I liked the irony of the doves, symbols of peace, in the midst of this story about war and death.  In the story we learn about the zealots that fled to Masada and how the Romans, using slave labor, built a wall encircling them.  It is told from the point of view of  these four fascinating Dovekeepers; red haired Yael, who is hated by a father who is known by his reputation as the Assassin; Revka, who lost her husband and children and has to care for her mute grandsons; Aziza, a fighter who secretly takes her brother's place among the warriors; and her Mom, Shirah, known as the witch and healer. One minor character that fascinated me was the slave from the North and he in turn was fascinated by Yael.  I am on page 444 and will complete this book before I visit Masada next week.

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