I was really excited when I heard the news that Arundhati Roy after the longest break was back with a new fictional book. The very day the book was published I was in the bookstore asking to buy a copy.
And then I read some lukewarm reviews, and then I saw that it didn’t make it into the Man Booker shortlist. And then I put this book on the backburner.
I couldn’t stay away from it too long though, and once I started I simply fell in love with the beautiful writing. Sure, the book has its flaws, but despite (or maybe because) I have fallen headlong in love with it.
The Dovekeepers by Alice Hoffman is the book I chose to take with me during my holiday to Assam and Meghalaya.
I picked up this book thinking it was a light girly read – something along the lines of Practical Magic – the only other Alice Hoffman book I read ages ago.
The Dovekeepers though was completely different.
It’s set in Masada, Israel around 70 C.E. The novel spans the time when the Romans besieged the Jews in the fortress of Masada during the First Jewish-Roman war. The Jews at Masada were the last Jewish stronghold to fall at Roman hands.
Historical details about this time and the events can be found here. I”ll focus this review on the book and the story.
When I first expressed interest in reading Sarah Waters, a lot of bloggers recommended that I start with Fingersmith. I however ended up picking up and dropping it multiple times before actually getting into the book – so much so that even though I started this book first, I ended up dropping it and reading The Little Stranger and The Night Watch before trying this book again.
There were some reasons why this book was a bit hard for me to get into, but once I got over a certain hump in the story, the book was really enjoyable, and I raced through it.
Penning a novel, short story, script or even an anthology of poetry is never easy. You may have the plot mapped out in your head, and loosely translated in a notepad, but sitting down and creating those characters and worlds residing in your head is challenging. Once you’ve found the time and perseverance to finally sit down and type your story into completion, you’re excited to push it out of the nest and watch it soar – after all, it’s a hefty accomplishment.