This Spring has been tough, with a lot of illnesses in the family, some of which required long hospital stays, emergency surgeries, and endless doctor’s appointments. Top that off with all the mold we’ve found in our house, weird news in the news, my sleepless children and my bone-crushing exhaustion, and I am a mess. Seriously, all I want to do is hide under my covers with a book.
So of course I decide to read The Dovekeepers this month.
Going into it, all I knew was that it took place during Biblical times, and it was a Yay-Woman,-Hear-me-Roar type of book (literally – there was a lot of symbolism and plot lines involving lions).
But I had no idea how depressing it would be. I mean, tears streaming down my face, wiping my snotty nose on my shirt depressing. Apparently, the basic plot of this book actually happened – a group of 900 Jewish zealots seeking refuge from murderous Romans at a place called Masada, thinking it was their new Zion. The Romans came, set up camp with 10,000 troops, and built a giant ramp in the desert to kill the remaining Jews.
Spoiler Alert if you don’t know your ancient history, WHICH I OBVIOUSLY DID NOT: All the Jewish people living in Masada decide to kill each other so that they won’t be captured, tortured, raped and enslaved by the Romans. According to history, five people survived and are able to tell the tale so we know the true history today, and not what the Romans would have told if they were the victors (this was a fictional account).
Like I said, I had no idea this was what the book was about. I had never heard of Masada, so to some people it was like watching The Titanic – they knew about the event, so how was the movie going to keep them captivated to watch such a sad story?
The book was indeed captivating, it was beautifully written (if not a bit too detailed), and painstakingly researched, but I think the *only* reason I continued on was because the lives of these women were so horrible. It made me put these past few months into perspective. Yeah, I have mold in my house. And yes, my husband might possibly have some weird disease (still undetermined at this point). But we have roofs over our heads. We’re not persecuted for our beliefs. I am not cast into hiding when I’m on my period and considered unclean to touch until I purify afterward. I can give birth in a hospital and not in the desert with no pain medication. We are not on the run for our lives, or waiting to be killed by Roman soliders (or any soldiers for that matter). We live in a peaceful area, with no war outside our door and plenty to eat and drink.
Phew. Sometimes it’s good to read something so outside my norm, to remind myself about the world at large, and not what revolves around my tiny world. But I’m not going to lie – the next thing I want to read is a book catered toward teenage girls about experiencing their first kiss while on vacation in Paris or something. I’m sure there’s something like that out there…
Why, would you look at this…