DOVEKEEPERS by Alice Hoffman, Scribner, 2011, 504 pgs, $27.99 #ISBN#978-1-45161747-4
I love the way Alice Hoffman writes. Turtle Moon was one of the first self-selected books by a contemporary woman author that I enjoyed. What has drawn me to her, besides giving me a sense that she was in tune with feminine intuition, is the ability to weave a story that is intimately suggestive of various elements of the supernatural, which had made the books I have read by her more than just an average fiction book. There was always a little added bonus for the potential of fantasy.
Dovekeepers, a definitely a good read, is not just for the female gender point of view reader and is not borderline fantasy. It is clear Ms. Hoffman did extensive research for this novel and it should be read by a wide audience. Although it produced a restless night sleep, figuring out how to process some of the violent details exceedingly intense at the book’s culmination; those details fit appropriately and accurately to the theme of the story. Contemporary writers may feel compelled to capture their audience’s attention through “shocking” content these days, but that is hasn’t been Hoffman’s style in previous books I have read by her. Rather miraculous however, which is Hoffman’s style; was the lasting impression of endowing one of her main characters with a sharp attribute, allowing for a witty twist and a justifiable explanation of what truly could have been.
Dovekeepers is the signature story by a writer who has succeeded in portraying compelling characters who have made an historic event come vividly back to life for us.
Beverly Pietlicki@ June 28, 2012