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Extended Audio Sample The Dovekeepers: A Novel Audiobook, by Alice Hoffman Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (22,331 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Alice Hoffman Narrator: Aya Cash, Jessica Hecht, Heather Lind, Tovah Feldshuh Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: October 2011 ISBN: 9781442344570
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Over five years in the writing, Alice Hoffman’s most ambitious and mesmerizing work ever, a triumph of imagination and research set in ancient Israel.

The author of such iconic bestsellers as Illumination Night, Practical Magic, Fortune’s Daughter, and Oprah’s Book Club selection Here on Earth, Alice Hoffman is one of the most popular and memorable writers of her generation. Now, in The Dovekeepers, Hoffman delivers her most masterful work yet—one that draws on her passion for mythology, magic, and archaeology and her inimitable understanding of women.

In 70 C.D., nine hundred Jews held out for months against armies of Romans on a mountain in the Judean desert, Masada. According to the ancient historian Josephus, two women and five children survived. Based on this tragic historical event, Hoffman weaves a spellbinding tale of four extraordinary, bold, resourceful, and sensuous women, each of whom comes to Masada by a different path. Yael’s mother died in childbirth, and her father never forgave her for that death. Revka, a village baker’s wife, watched the horrifically brutal murder of her daughter by Roman soldiers; she brings to Masada her twin grandsons, rendered mute by their own witness. Aziza is a warrior’s daughter, raised as a boy, a fearless rider and expert marksman, who finds passion with another soldier. Shirah is wise in the ways of ancient magic and medicine, a woman with uncanny insight and power. The lives of these four complex and fiercely independent women intersect in the desperate days of the siege, as the Romans draw near. All are dovekeepers, and all are also keeping secrets—about who they are, where they come from, who fathered them, and whom they love.

This novel is Alice Hoffman’s masterpiece. Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Beautiful, harrowing, a major contribution to twenty-first-century literature.”

    Toni Morrison

  • “I am still reeling from The Dovekeepers--from the history Alice Hoffman illuminates, from the language she uses to bring these women to life. This novel is a testament to the human spirit and to love rising from the ashes of war. But most of all, this novel is one that will never be forgotten by a reader.”

    Jodi Picoult

  • “In her remarkable new novel, Alice Hoffman holds a mirror to our ancient past as she explores the contemporary themes of sexual desire, women’s solidarity in the face of strife, and the magic that's quietly present in our day-to-day living. Put The Dovekeepers at the pinnacle of Hoffman’s extraordinary body of work. I was blown away.”

    Wally Lamb

  • “Hoffman’s fiction is always compelling, but the history within The Dovekeepers makes this novel haunting.”

    USA Today

  • “Nothing [Hoffman’s] written would prepare you for the gravitas of her new book, an immersive historical novel about Masada during the Roman siege in the first century. The Dovekeepers is an enormously ambitious, multipart story, richly decorated with the details of life 2,000 years ago…Hoffman doesn’t ignore the larger-than-life leaders and their deadly clash, but her creative path into Masada is from the ground up: not through its generals and warriors, but through its mothers, daughters, and wives. The result is a high-minded feminist story of unassailable seriousness.”

    Washington Post

  • “This powerful and gripping novel about survival and endurance will stay with you for a long time.”

    Library Journal

  • A New York Times Bestseller
  • A Washington Post Bestseller
  • An Amazon Best Book of the Month, October 2011
  • Selected for the October 2011 Indie Next List
  • An Amazon Top 100 Book of 2011

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kim | 2/16/2014

    " I didn't realize the true impact of the book until the end. So glad I read it. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Lori | 2/6/2014

    " I was reluctant to pick up the book but once I did, I couldn't put it down. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Mar | 2/2/2014

    " The novel follows and intertwines the stories of three women who come from various backgrounds to Masada and are there from 70 AD until the fortress falls to the Romans four years later. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Leandra | 1/23/2014

    " I enjoyed this book. Kind of reminds us just how lucky we are. So much suffering out there in this world. Life was really tough all those years ago. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Elisa | 1/19/2014

    " Didn't even finish this book! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Marika | 1/16/2014

    " Perfect read for Jewish High Holidays. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Angela | 12/17/2013

    " I would give this book a 4.5 stars if I could. I enjoyed the story and look forward to book club discussion. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Denise Lafreniere | 10/11/2013

    " A little long and not always sure where the author was going with the story. Good ending. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Fmb926 | 9/15/2013

    " This was a great book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Julie | 8/26/2013

    " Similar to the Red Tent in that it tells a biblical story through the eyes of the women. It tells the story of Masada through the eyes of four women who were there. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Karen | 8/11/2013

    " When I first read the inside of the front cover, I wasn't sure if I was going to like this book. Turns out, I LOVED it! The story follows several women and is woven around some documented historical events. I found it to be fascinating. Definitely one at the top of my favorites list! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sask Wilding | 5/30/2013

    " This book made me fall into a trance, I was lost into the first character. The author had written the first part to make you feel as if you were the character. I did not, however find the other characters and chapters as fufilling. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ann | 4/20/2013

    " One of my favorite Alice Hoffman books. Beautiful and haunting. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Misty Collins | 2/12/2013

    " I really wanted to like this book. Having been to the locations in the book I was sure I'd love it. It was a chore for me to get half way through then I had to give up. I think its a great story but it was too drawn out to keep my attention. I may give it another try some day. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Corinne | 1/27/2013

    " I look forward to re-reading some day. I enjoyed every moment that I could get back to the story. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Judy Lansky | 12/19/2012

    " I didn't want to put this book down! I loved reading the different character perspectives but also they all flowed into one great story. HIstorical fiction at its best! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sue | 8/19/2012

    " Amazing book. A great history lesson. In the same vein as The Red Tent. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kristin | 6/13/2012

    " Beautiful, gripping, and harrowing. I read this for book club - my first Alice Hoffman novel, and I'll be going back to read her earlier works. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Amanda Shapiro | 4/21/2012

    " Fantastic. The biblical prose takes a little getting used to, but after that, it's captivating. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jennweil | 3/8/2012

    " This book was a slow starter for me. But by the end of the second chapter (Book 2) I was drawn into the story. The women are all strong if somewhat anti-social so I could relate. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Emily | 1/3/2012

    " Beautiful story. Very long and a little heavy on descriptions at some parts. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Kristen | 1/3/2012

    " Way to slow for me. It did not meet my 25% rule. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Hannah Schweinfurth | 11/2/2011

    " What a beautiful novel! And how wonderful to read an account of women and magic in a time when neither was fully accounted. That being said, I worry that this book will be lost in the world of "chic-lit" when it is so much more. It's terrifying and fantastic and horrible and wonderful. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Heidi Marleau | 11/1/2011

    " Really enjoyed this historical novel. Brilliantly interwoven lives of 4 women. Would definitely recommend if you are up for something more serious. I knew nothing of ancient Masada but now I do thankfully. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Val | 9/17/2011

    " Having just returned from Israel, where I visited Jerusalem, Masada, and quite a lot of the desert in between, reading this book was magical. I could easily picture the places and even the people. What a great tale - woven with history and story. I really enjoyed this book. "

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About the Author
Author Alice Hoffman

Alice Hoffman is the author of more than thirty works of fiction, including The Marriage of Opposites, Practical Magic, The Red Garden, the Oprah’s Book Club selection Here on Earth, The Museum of Extraordinary Things, and The Dovekeepers. Her short fiction and nonfiction works have appeared in the New York Times, Boston Globe Magazine, Kenyon Review, Redbook, Architectural Digest, Gourmet, Self, and others. Her novel Practical Magic was made into a major motion picture starring Sandra Bullock and Nicole Kidman; her young adult novel Aquamarine was made into a movie in 2006.

About the Narrators

Aya Cash is an American actress, the daughter of poet and novelist Kim Addonizio and Buddhist teacher Eugene Cash, and the granddaughter of Wimbledon champion Pauline Betz Addie and sportswriter Bob Addie. An alumnus of the San Francisco School of the Arts as well as the University of Minnesota, she has appeared on television series such as Brotherhood, Mercy, and three Law & Order series. Most recently she has appeared in The Newsroom, and Martin Scorcese’s The Wolf of Wall Street.

Jessica Hecht is an American actress known for her numerous Broadway and television appearances. She graduated in 1987 from the NYU Tisch School of the Arts and has appeared in numerous television shows including ER, Seinfeld, Law & Order, Breaking Bad, and Bored to Death, as well as in films such as Sideways, Kicking and Screaming, and The Town. She is best known for her recurring role on Friends, as Susan, the life partner of Ross’ ex-wife, Carol.

Heather Lind is an actress who has appeared in Boardwalk Empire, Blue Bloods, The Last Day of August, and other films and television programs.

Tovah Feldshuh is an American actress, singer, and playwright. She has been nominated for numerous awards, including twice for an Emmy and four times for a Tony.