Monday, October 15, 2012

Starting Out the Week Right

I think everyone's favorite days of the week are Saturday and Sunday, right?  In recent years I've come to love Sundays more and more.  And I definitely know that I have David to thank for that.  While my family can be very religious/spiritual, we didn't always attend church regularly.  Adding the fact that we moved around a lot when I was a kid, then tried to drive back and forth (5+ hours one-way) to visit family a lot on was just hard.  But, I was always raised with a strong Christian background and have never doubted my faith. 

David, on the other hand, lived in the same house the vast majority of his childhood and still retains membership of his hometown church.  When we met, I began going to church with him weekly and I really have noticed a strengthening in my faith.  While the two of us have both grown up in different Protestant faiths, we have much common ground within this vast network of Christian sects.

Luckily, we have found a local church that we've been attending the past five or six months that we've come to really enjoy.  Oddly enough, the denomination is not what either of us grew up with...but, after trying one early on that was NOT a good fit, David did a search on Google including keywords that are important to both of our faiths.  We found the church that we are now attending...and have really enjoyed it thus far.

Each Sunday morning I really enjoy heading to church and I think both of us truly enjoy the pastor's message each week...though, like any church, some more than others.  I look forward to getting to know members of the church better and taking part in more and more activities.

When we got home from church yesterday, I decided to spend some time and finish a book I had been nibbling at for a while.  I had about 100 pages left and thought that a Sunday was the perfect day to go ahead and complete it.

This book, The Dovekeepers, is a work of fiction that is based upon a true event that occurred in biblical times.  Because of this, I have labeled this post as both fiction and non-fiction...because it truly is both. 

The timeline of this book is four years, beginning in 70 C.E.  Now, you must begin this novel knowing that at the conclusion of this story, the community in which the dovekeepers reside, Masada, is completely obliterated.  The Jews within Masada are hunted like dogs by the Roman soldiers and while this community is able to survive for many months based upon the strongholds and fortifications of their the end, it doesn't matter.

This story revolves around the women that are the dovekeepers within this society.  The dove, as most know, is typically viewed as a sacred bird.  Because of this, the doves in Masada are (for the most part) not eaten.  However, their manure is used to fertilize the soil of the fields and their eggs are used for sustenance.  So, the keepers have a very important job within Masada.

Four women are focused upon within this storyline (Yael, Revka, Aziza and Shirah), specifically their journey in arriving at Masada and what their role within the dovecotes and amongst the other women becomes.  Each woman's story is so very touching and each is an incredibly strong woman, even though each may not think so about themselves.

I'm not going to lie, there were parts of this story that dragged a bit for me.  But, I think some of that stems from the fact that this book has zero chapters.  Zero.  There are sections/parts that are approximately 100ish pages long and while there is some dialogue, there's not a ton.  Because of that, this 500+ page book can be slow-going at times.

With that being said, I still really enjoyed this book.  Shirah (the last woman who's story is told) has an amazing background and story.  Plus, the book's ending is heartbreaking and breathtaking at the same time.  Obviously, since most everyone dies.  Oh, and of course, there are a couple of plot twisters. 

I would say if you're fond of Francine Rivers-type books, you'll definitely enjoy this.  I certainly did, just be ready to invest a little bit of time with this one.

Oh, and have I mentioned that I did pull the bike out of the garage for a nice, long ride this beautiful Monday morning?  Trying to continue this week on the right path...


  1. I am so glad you guys have found a church that you both like. Tony and I still struggle sometimes and we've been at our church for over 9 years. We try to remind ourselves that we aren't there for overselves, but for God.

  2. Oh, and I am glad you enjoyed The Dove Keepers!



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