A slow burn of a read for me, one which took a while to work its way into my heart but once there refused to yield it, The Dovekeepers tells the story of four women who are drawn together in the fortress at Masada, compelled by their faith, those they love and those who they have lost to fight against the Roman empire that seeks to destroy them. Each of these women, Yael, Revka, Aziza and Shirah seek to survive their destiny in a world that teeters on the edge of destruction. Hoffman’s language is beautiful and evocative, and her historical references are obviously meticulously researched. All four of her main characters are strong, willful and defiant in the face of the harsh realities of their world. A truly wondrous book with substantial, tenacious female characters that I will not soon forget.