The Dovekeepers Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of The Dovekeepers

Four strong women are brought together at the mountain of Masada and fight for their lives against the Romans. 2,000 years ago four strong women brought to the mountain of Masada by different paths, join forces and families to fight off the Romans. Yael's mother died while giving birth to her daughter with flaming red hair, her father ashamed and heart broken, ignores her for many years, even as they fled from their homes to find safety from the Romans. Again their village attacked, Yael and her father and brother are on the run for safety from the Romans. Many of their villages are killed and the ones that are not, flee into the desert. Yael's brother leaves them to find other warriors that can help and get them to safety. Her father is a member of a secret group of assassins. While hiding in a cave for safety, Yael falls in love with one of the married men in their group and gives up her virginity to him. Even while on the run they keep up their secret affair. But unfortunately, he dies on one of the moves. Soon after moving again, the group is rescued by others that have found sanctuary on the mountain top of Masada - a fortress built by King Herod. There are hundreds of other Jews in the fortress, warriors, women and children. Yael finds her brother among the people. Each person has to have a job to help support the village. Yael is sent to care for the doves. There she meets three other women she learns to love and depend on. All of them have had horrible things happen to them on their journey to the mountain. Shirah, the witch, helps her deliver her baby that she has tried to hide from everyone. Her spells help Yael more than once. Rivka, watched as her husband and daughter were killed by the Romans, continues to feed the village and act like a mother to Yael. Aziza - a young woman who dresses like a man and fights like one to. Such hard times they all endure while trying to survive. Eventually, a devastating drought hits the land and the villages wander father and farther from the mountain to find food and water. The Romans get closer and closer. After days of holding out against the Romans, Yael realizes that her premonition she had as girl will come true, she will die drowning, not in water, but in her own blood.
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Best part of story, including ending: I liked the strength of the women in spite of the hardships

Best scene in story: The ending was sad but the power of family and religion help them through

Opinion about the main character: I liked Yael because she persevered despite her fathers ignoring her most of her life and she finally finds love, but not so much from a man

The review of this Book prepared by Kathy Ediss a Level 2 American Robin scholar

Chapter Analysis of The Dovekeepers

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Plot & Themes

Tone of book?    -   very sensitive (sigh) Time/era of story    -   ancient Rome Ethnic/Regional/Religion    -   religious Jew    -   Italian Is this an adult or child's book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book Ethnic/regional/gender life    -   Yes Woman's story?    -   Yes

Main Character

Gender    -   Female Age:    -   20's-30's Ethnicity/Nationality    -   Jewish


How much descriptions of surroundings?    -   5 () Mountains/Cliffs    -   Yes Mountains:    -   climbing on trails Desert?    -   Yes

Writing Style

Amount of dialog    -   roughly even amounts of descript and dialog

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Alice Hoffman Books Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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