Dawn Wink: Dewdrops

Writing, Teaching, Language, Landscape, Life


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Tucson Festival of Books and “the Benson kids” — Roots and Love

Power of Kindness

Power of Kindness

Tucson Festival of Books, ©Benjie Sanders, Arizona Daily Star

Tucson Festival of Books, ©Benjie Sanders, Arizona Daily Star

A reader’s dream—that’s the best way to describe the Tucson Festival of Books.

The Festival of Books (FOB) is particularly this reader’s dream, since it takes place on the University of Arizona campus, in the heart of southern Arizona. Imagine warmth, palm trees lining the grassy mall, and 120,000 bibliophiles wandering booth after booth of books, listening to authors’ talks, and enjoying gelatto in the sunshine. The air of the FOB pulses with a love of reading, of books, of writing, of literacy. People of all ages (an entire area is devoted to children’s literature and fun things for kids to do—including watch a circus) wander the mall.

Tucson Festival of Books

Tucson Festival of Books

Last weekend, we headed for Tucson and the FOB. This year, MEADOWLARK joined the books featured and off we went. I was deeply grateful for the opportunity to spend an evening talking about writing, reading, and the journey of Meadowlark with the Women’s Foundation of Southern Arizona, whose mission reads, “Working for a world where women and girls are able to achieve their full potential and pursue their dreams.” The beauty and magic of book clubs and friendship wound together, as I spoke with an amazing book club in Tucson, and also saw a member of my own dear book club from my years in California at the Festival. 

An unexpected blessing happened during the Festival, nearly 38 years in the making. During my growing-up years on the Cascabel ranch, I attended school in the town of Benson, an hour by dirt road from the ranch and only 45 minutes by highway from Tucson. For those who know me, Benson, Cascabel, Tucson, the Sonoran Desert have a very, very special place in my heart. I attended school in Benson from third through tenth grades. In eleventh grade, I lived in Chihuahua City, Mexico as an exchange student, and my senior year of high school, I moved with my  family to California. While, technically I left after the tenth grade, this in no way kept me from feeling as much a part of my class as always, something I implored the Vice President of our class, who kept us all together via email and contact, to remember, which she has done magnificently.

I’ve stayed in touch with Benson friends, though years, miles, and the busyness of life for all has often kept years between any kind of contact. Knowing I’d be in Tucson, I connected with two wonderful friends from the Benson years, one of whom I hadn’t seen in 25 years, and the other I’d just seen for the first time in 25 years in December. The three of us were to meet at the Festival. I couldn’t wait.

Benson Reunion—Annette Brunenkant, Michelle Owens, me, Kandie Ward, April Murphy, Patrick Padilla

Benson Reunion—Annette Brunenkant, Michelle Owens, me, Kandie Ward, April Murphy, Patrick Padilla

As I stood under the shade of the author’s pavillion, I lifted my eyes and suddenly another face from 25 years ago walked through the crowd. I leapt up and we hugged and hugged. Then, another face. And another. Soon, a veritable Benson Union High School reunion was gathered at the pavillion. I found myself speechless. I had no idea and just kept staring and hugging and staring and hugging some more. A few tears later, we moved to gather around a table under the shade of the eating area—and settled in.

I sat at the table and drank in the roots and love at the table. There is something unique about friends from childhood and those high school years. As I gazed around the table, I thought of the 15-year-olds we’d once been and all that had happened since that time that none of us could have imagined—marriages, births, deaths, divorces, new marriages, parenthood alone and in partnership, grandchildren. Some of us became parents quite young and others have weathered infertility. We no longer have the 15-year-old bodies of our high school years. Years of living show on our faces now and I love that. Some of our bodies had betrayed us, cancer survivors sat among our small group. I took in each face and thought of what I knew of their stories.

Mom and "the Benson kids"- Lisa Dryden, Tommy Santoyo, April Murphy, Annette Brunenkant, Michelle Owens, Sandra Leverty

Mom and “the Benson kids”- Lisa Dryden, Tommy Santoyo, April Murphy, Annette Brunenkant, Michelle Owens, Sandra Leverty

My mom, Joan Wink, was the high school Spanish teacher during these years. Mom’s roots with my classmates run as deep as my own, and deeper with her students that came before and after me. She’s written frequently in her books about “the Benson kids” and all they taught her about teaching and life. Mom accompanied this photo with the caption, “How I love my Benson kids!” Appropriately, Mom was wearing her t-shirt that states, “Those who can, TEACH. Those who can’t, pass laws about teaching.” Hear, hear!

There is a connection with these deep roots and time shared together during our growing-up years that goes beyond the rhythms of daily life, that threads deep and binds beyond differences that might fray a more recent friendship. In our group, we did not talk politics or the economy or religion or the latest headlines. All of those conversations seemed to lift aside, winnowed by years of our roots and our memories of who each of us had been and had become, leaving only the depth of our shared history. We shared recent losses, old scars, and gratitude for healing and hope. We laughed, we told stories, shared memories, held babies, held hands, hugged, and told one another how very proud we are of each other. Somehow, our shared roots brought out the best in each other.

San Pedro River Valley, AZ

San Pedro River Valley, AZ

The drive home to Santa Fe, took us past my beloved San Pedro River Valley, home to Cascabel and my childhood. We didn’t have time to drive to Cascabel this trip, so I stopped to take a photo instead. Next time! The drive also took us through Texas Canyon, a sight I marvel at as much now as I did as a child. Those rock formations never cease to set my imagination aflame with possibilities. 

Mango chile ice-cream shake

Mango chile ice-cream shake

We stopped in Hatch, NM (where the world-famous chile is grown) for the traditional green chile cheeseburger and a newly-discovered tradition, a mango and chile shake. Mango and chile, a flavor combination I came to crave and adore while living in Mexico. Divine. I hung my purse on the back of my chair—and discovered two hours later when we stopped for gas, that I’d left it there… Luke and Wyatt were especially thrilled with this latest development. Back to Hatch we drove and on hour number eight of our drive home, when we should’ve been pulling up to our front door, and instead had three hours of driving before us, there was a brief energy-filled exchange between Luke and me, after which Wyatt announced to the car, “And the matriarch asserts her dominance.”

Cracked. Me. Up.

In honor of National Reaching Month, KASA TV of Albuquerque featured New Mexico authors and books, including MEADOWLARK. Our conversation revolved around family stories and writing the land:

Our time in Tucson brought home for me the transcendent power of deeply rooted friendships and shared experiences. I was reminded how deep roots hold the potential to create openings for connection and caring no matter how many years have passed. In this wild journey of life, true connection and caring are gifts to be treasured.

Roots and love.

Tucson bougainvillea in full bloom.

Tucson bougainvillea in full bloom.


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Women of Atlas—Song Through the Storm

Women gathering to nurture women.

Inspired by the devastation of the Atlas Storm (that I wrote about in The Blizzard that Never Was), the organization Rural Women in America of Bowman, North Dakota created a day of inspiration, art, laughter, tears, and friendship for women in western South Dakota.

Women of Atlas © Sandy Rhoden, Meade County Times-Tribune

Women of Atlas © Sandy Rhoden, Meade County Times-Tribune

“Saturday was spectacular. An afternoon of laughter, and a few healing tears,” wrote Missy Urbaniak. “A sense of validation. That, yes, we had been through something hard.  We deserved something special. Just for us. This is a very foreign idea to women of the prairie!”

I am grateful and honored to be included in the event. I couldn’t attend in person, so I arrived via video and spirit, speaking on, “Song Through the Storm.”

There’s a passage in Meadowlark in which Daisy Standing Horse shares Song with Grace.

Meadowlark: A Novel

Meadowlark: A Novel

“Every place, every creature has their own song. You just have to listen for them. You have your own song, Grace. Deep within you. Most people live their whole lives and never listen to the songs of life, not their own or any around them. Scares them too much. It’s easier to go through life living the way everybody else expect you to. But when you’re listening to your own song, Grace, you feel deep peace, right here.” She reached out and placed the flat of her palm on the center of Grace’s chest (p. 176).”

When I settled in to make the video and knew it would be cold in South Dakota, I built a fire in the fireplace for all gathered and started taping. In recording after recording something went wrong or didn’t feel right, and I started again and again. At last, I thought of family and friends, I thought of those I love and how life was transformed by the blizzard. I saw their faces, felt their presence, and imagined we were there together—and spoke. This is the video included above.

Rural Women in America and Reneé Rongen © Rural Women in America

Rural Women in America and Reneé Rongen © Rural Women in America

In “Rural Women in America Provide Special Time for Ranch Women,” Sandy Rhoden of Meade County Times-Tribune describes the day:

Live, Love and Prosperwas what took place in Union Center on Saturday afternoon.

This was a day prepared especially for the rural women who endured the storm, Atlas, in one way or another. It was a day packed full of activities that was sponsored by Rural Women in America.

Mom (Joan Wink) speaking at Women of Atlas.

Joan Wink speaking at Women of Atlas.

Katie Dilse welcomed the women and got them excited about their special time together. She introduced the main speaker of the day, Reneé Rongen

Rongen is a dynamic, motivational speaker who incorporates humor and life experiences into her presentation. Her book, “Fundamentally Female,” was given as a gift to each woman in attendance.

A presentation, via video, was given by Dawn Wink. She talked about her book “Meadowlark: Song Through the Storm.”  Joan Wink gave an introduction of her daughter before the video and then answered questions about her grandmother, Grace, and the book. The book surrounded the topic of life on the Prairie and the challenges in Grace’s life.Rural Women in American’s mission is to inspire women by celebrating, cultivating and connecting their heart and souls with other women living in Rural America, empowering them to unlock their greatest potential.” more…

Meadowlark and Song by  Jodi Shaw © Kerry Frei

Meadowlark and Song by Jodi Shaw © Kerry Frei

Artist Jodi Shaw shared a piece of her art inspired by the conversation about song in Meadowlark. Kerry Frei ordered a custom piece for her daughters and Jodi’s physical expression of these ideas brought tears to my eyes the first time I saw…and every time since. 

The energy of the event carried across the miles. That afternoon, I closed my eyes and thought of all the women gathered, I thought of the heartbreak that has been a palpable energy of the land ever since the blizzard. I felt the tears and laughter. I felt the healing.
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Deep gratitude to Rural Women in America and for creating this day of inspiration, healing, and song for women.
Live Your Song by Jodi Shaw © Jodi Shaw

Live Your Song by Jodi Shaw © Jodi Shaw


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When I Am An Old Horsewoman

When I Am An Old Horsewoman © Just My Tidbits

When I Am An Old Horsewoman © Just My Tidbits

I sat with coffee and candles this morning and read this poem. It speaks of such spirit and beauty. 
For you.
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When I Am An Old Horsewoman
I shall wear turquoise and diamonds,
And a straw hat that doesn’t suit me
And I shall spend my social security on
white wine and carrots,
And sit in my alleyway of my barn
And listen to my horses breathe.
*
I will sneak out in the middle of a summer night
And ride the old bay gelding,
Across the moonstruck meadow
If my old bones will allow
And when people come to call, I will smile and nod
As I walk past the gardens to the barn
and show instead the flowers growing
inside stalls fresh-lined with straw.
I will shovel and sweat and wear hay in my hair
as if it were a jewel
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And I will be an embarrassment to ALL
Who will not yet have found the peace in being free
to have a horse as a best friend
A friend who waits at midnight hour
With muzzle and nicker and patient eyes
For the kind of woman I will be
When I am old.
*
-Author Patty Barnhart

( A special thank you to Peter Edgell for lifting this poem to light this morning.)

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Snow-laden Nest Waiting for Spring

Snow-laden nest under our portal.

Snow-laden nest under our portal.

After waking to snow yesterday, I went outside to bring in some firewood and glanced up to see the nest that has been a part of our family for the past years. Snow fills its contours and runs the length of the winter-dormant wisteria strands running the length of the beams under our back portal.

“Waiting for spring,” I thought.

Nest behind the skull.

Nest behind the skull.

A number of people in my life also waiting for spring filled my mind. It feels as if so many of our nests right now are laden with snow, hunkered down, waiting out the winter—waiting for spring.

I’ve written about this nest and others in our life throughout the past couple of years—the life-filled Nest Behind the Skull and love-filled Nest.

When I shared this photo of the now snow-filled nest, friends wrote, “Aw, it won’t be long before you’ll hear little ‘cheeps’ coming from the nest,” and “I can hardly wait to see the little eggs in there in a few months.”

“They’re right!” I thought. “Spring is just around the corner!” That knowing had been lost to me amidst the cold dormancy of winter.

As much of the world lies under snow, waiting for the change of seasons, both in nature and life, I thought it a good time to remember that spring – with it’s warmth and new life - does lie just around the corner.

Nest

By Marianne Boruch

Nest in spring.

Nest in spring.

I walked out, and the nest   

was already there by the step.  Woven basket   
of a saint   
sent back to life as a bird   
who proceeded to make   
a mess of things.  Wind   
right through it, and any eggs   
long vanished.  But in my hand it was   
intricate pleasure, even the thorny reeds   
softened in the weave.  And the fading   
leaf mold, hardly   
itself anymore, merely a trick   
of light, if light   
can be tricked.  Deep in a life   
is another life.  I walked out, the nest   
already by the step.  

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To subscribe and receive Dewdrops in your email, please enter your email address in the box under “Follow this blog via email” or click on the ‘Follow’ icon in lower right-hand corner of the blog’s screen and ‘Confirm Follow’ in the email you receive. To return to website: www.dawnwink.com


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Friday Night, Family Night – Love of Place, Belonging…

Friday Night, Family Night feet

Friday Night, Family Night feet

Friday nights are Friday Night, Family Night in our family – all home, all together, nobody on sleepovers or hanging out with friends, all in comfy clothes, always pizza and a movie. Wine for adults, why yes!

Pizza for Friday Night, Family Night

Pizza for Friday Night, Family Night

I created this tradition for our family about a decade ago, cobbled together from other traditions that appealed to me. From my friend, Dobie, I learned that Friday nights are often family nights in the Jewish tradition. From author Barbara Kingsolver, I learned that she always serves her family homemade pizza and a movie on Friday nights. At that time, cascades of requests and decisions filled my own Friday evenings, pleas for hanging out with friends, sleepovers, and decisions about all, including what to make for dinner.

By Friday evening, after an overflowing work week, I am really not up for any decision of any kind.

After one particularly frenzied Friday evening of all three kids clamoring with requests for sleepovers, comings, goings, decisions, and me staring blankly at the refrigerator wondering what I would make for dinner, I decided to gift (impose) this tradition on our family.

Holy Molé wine - divine!

Holy Molé wine – divine!

Ever since that time, Friday nights have remained sacred. Parents and kids are all home, together. For many years I made homemade pizza with Barbara Kingsolver’s recipe (recipe here). The truth is, for the past few years with working later and sports practices for the kids, either Noé or I will often pick up a pizza on our way home. Kids take turns choosing which movie we’ll rent. Trying to find a movie that all five of us enjoy is a challenge. The boys are not keen on the musicals Wynn loves, and Wynn and I flat-out refuse some of their choices. We mostly get it, though, and we all end up watching movies we might not have selected on our own. 

For most of the years since the tradition, it was just the kids and me. It often felt like I was trying to hold back the tide with the flood of invitations the kids had and my own exhaustion at the end of the week. Come to find out, not all families have Friday Night, Family Night, so invitations continued. Again and again I said, “On Friday night we’re together as a family. On Saturday night, have all the hanging out with friends you want!” Same goes for adults. Exceptions made for birthday parties—and the Prom. Somehow, it worked. Wyatt, Luke, and Wynn are now 17, 15, and 14 and our tradition continues. I’m almost scared to talk about it, for fear the spell will break.

Perhaps because we’ve been doing it for so long, or perhaps the stars have simply aligned. Perhaps it worked for the same reason my kids took naps on weekends well into junior high school—I was just so tired! I don’t know. What I do know is that on Friday evenings, we all tumble home, change into comfy clothes, I put the pizzas in the oven and open the bottle of wine, as Noé and kids pop the movie in and settle in on the couch. Often, this is the only time all week where there are no decisions, no negotiations, and no other place in the world to be.

This tradition is a gift indeed.

La Rosca de Reyes and Wynn

La Rosca de Reyes and Wynn

Traditions… With our recent celebration of El Día de los Reyes Magos (Day of the Three Kings, Epiphany) tradition of gathering around La Rosca de Reyes (Wreath of Kings), my friend, Lindy, wrote of our Writing the Land class, “I would love to discuss celebration/tradition as an important element of “love of place”; of belonging.” 

I loved this sense of “love of place, of belonging” the essence of traditions, of writing the land. I look forward to our journey of place and belonging. Our class began this past Monday. Let the exploration of belonging and love of place begin…

Meadowlark: A Novel

Meadowlark: A Novel

To bless the New Year in a wonderful way, MEADOWLARK is now available on Kindle! http://www.amazon.com/Meadowlark-Dawn-Wink/dp/1932636978/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1389759814&sr=8-1&keywords=Meadowlark


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Magic and Dreams in 2014

Magic, dreams...

Magic, dreams…

One year draws to a close and another opens—a blank canvas before each of us. As I read the above quote from Neil Gaiman, I felt this conveys exactly what I would wish for us all. It’s a time of reflection and hope, a time of closure and new beginnings.  A time to think of what we’ve learned and what we hope to create. Here are some of my own musings of discoveries and deeper learnings from the past year:

I learned that life really is all about relationships. It is the community we create and care for that lift our lives.

It is the small daily acts that create a life. Acts of rhythm, acts of structure, acts of discipline, acts of creativity, and acts of character. Life doesn’t suddenly swirl into suddenly into being. A magnificent life is often composed of seemingly mundane daily acts.

Unexpected tragedies happen to good people.

Prism bulb

Prism orb. Light for the new year.

Community, love, creativity, honesty, and rigor overcome negative forces. Maybe not the first time, or even the second, but in the arc of life, their energy rises again and again.

Forgiveness, to receive and to give, casts its ripples farther than we’ll ever know.

Never mistake kindness for weakness.

Gratitude deepens with time.

JK Rowling’s words, “And so rock bottom became the solid foundation on which I rebuilt my life.” 

Dreams do come true – and almost always in ways we never imagined.

Today I’ll sit with my journal and write of all I am grateful for and what I hope to bring into being in the next year. Some of these dreams and goals will hopefully find life and others will inevitably get moved to a next journal next New Year’s Day. As the swirling of the past year briefly settles and transitions into the next, I think of you and what I hope 2014 may bring.

May the New Year Bring

Listen to grace

Listen to grace. Ornament from Jennifer Wolfe

May you gather your tribe around you and all take good care of each other.

May your path be filled with blessings and beauty.

May the New Year bring gossamer strands of peace, where there was pain.

May we live not with regret, but with what we’ve learned through our experiences. Regret paralyzes. Learning expands.

May the New Year sparkle with potential, hope, dreams, and a healthy dose of magic to you and yours!

On this first day of the New Year most importantly, I wanted to express my gratitude for you. In our Dewdrops community, your ideas, experiences, wisdom, and understandings of beauty and life enriches my world exponentially. I learn so much from you. Your generosity of spirit never ceases to amaze and inspire me.  I wanted to take this moment to express my deep gratitude to you. Thank you.

Wishing you a year of love, magic, and dreams.

Love,

Dawn

Blank page

Blank page


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Books to Curl Up With and Savor

fireplaceAs the holiday season winds down and the New Year approaches, strung along our threaded beads, my mind turns to curling up with marvelous books through the winter. I had the opportunity to read and review these books that I highly recommend.

Winter of Beauty, Amy Hale Auker

Winter of Beauty, Amy Hale Auker

“And so, sunset found her, this silver-haired lady, tough as leather on the outside, soft as the rich river bottom on the inside.” – Winter of Beauty, p. 6

And so we meet Sunshine Angel Lewis (Shiney) in the novel Winter of Beauty by Amy Hale Auker, a novel as rich as the river bottom itself. Shiney Lewis is the center of the wheel around which all else revolves on the rugged ranching lands of Bride Mountain, known simply as the Bride.

The prose of this novel reads as poetry of the land and the complex human dynamics that underlie apparently simple everyday life. The daily beauty and struggles of Shiney, the ranch owner; Monte, the foreman; Rafe,the old hand; Jody, the new hand; and Blake and Brenna, who bring child after child into a world they can’t afford—all these, with all of their authenticity, resonate with our own blessings and challenges. These resonances deepen our connection with life on the tinaja, where “…there are those times when the basin, and sometimes two or three basins of water in steps are full and edged with the lace of small animal tracks and the deeper impressions of big ones, like coats of arms pressed into wax wafers, mud atop the rock (pg. 7).”

© Amy Hale Auker

© Amy Hale Auker

The seasons of the Bride reflect human seasons throughout the novel in a manner that enfolds the reader in constant reminders that all of our experiences are narratives within a greater story. “Autumn is when the Bride dances. No longer self-conscious and why, no longer blushing, no longer heavy with heat and seed, she wears the fiery jewels she’s earned through the year. Her nests and pastures are empty, and cool nights whisper gold into her green (pg. 122).” The seasons of the Bride express seasons of life, seasons of life-changing decisions, loyalty, heartbreak, and discoveries that love often tiptoes into our lives in the most unexpected ways.

In Winter of Beauty, Auker brings this mixed-up colorful family and the Bride to elemental, exquisite life. A novel to be savored.

The Sandoval Sisters' Secrets of Old Blood

The Sandoval Sisters’ Secrets of Old Blood

In The Sandoval Sisters’ Secret of Old Blood, author Sandra Ramos O’Briant weaves a tale drenched in the history and culture of Spain and the Southwest. Diaries passed down through the lineage of Sandoval women string together a cluster of lives as bold as a chile ristra. The journals begin in Spain during the Inquisition and each generation adds another volume to the collection where “human dreams had been written in archaic Spanish and terrible sins described in faded brown ink on whisper-thin paper.” Finally, we find Oratoria poring through the texts in 1841—”a dangerous time for Anglos in Santa Fe.”

New Mexico stands on the fault line between worlds, on the edge of the Mexican American war, at once part of Mexico, with the United States moving ever closer. We experience the turbulence of this time with the Sandoval sisters: Oratoria, bought by the family after her capture by Apaches in Mexico; her sister Alma, who runs away from an arranged marriage into the heart of Texas; and Pilar, the youngest sister who escapes every night to ride her father’s stallion through the northern desert until dawn. In turn, each sister seeks the diaries to find that “the recipes were there, but so were their fears and ecstasies, their seductions and adulterous affairs. The diaries were cookbooks of life.” Wisdom gained through the generations, combined with the fortune of their family, brands the Sandoval sisters as witches by la gente, the people. Each shares her story in her own voice, and through these stories we experience love, heartbreak, erotic desire, witchcraft, and the human yearning to be free and take care of one’s own.

©sramosobriant.com

©sramosobriant.com

Ancient journals, the thickness of old blood, sensuous love, and the life-altering choices we all must make, set against the rich backdrop of history, compose the heart of The Sandoval Sisters’ and the Secret of Old Blood. Ultimately, this is a novel of self-determination, of the sisters, a people, and a land. The Sandoval sisters create their role, each in her unique way reflected in future generations, and each with individual courage, for “witches do not ride broomsticks on moonlit nights. They prefer stallions.” Ramos O’Briant tells the complex story of history of the Southwest—complicated, a clash of cultures steeped in slavery, kidnapping, murder, blood, and also love, family, and the creation of fused cultures forever etched into the landscape.

The Dovekeepers

The Dovekeepers

“There was only one language we understood, one prayer we remembered, one path we walked upon, so far from the throne of heaven we could no longer hear your voice.” – The Dovekeepers, p. 153

The Dovekeepers by Alice Hoffman wrapped me in a shawl of history, mesmerizing language, and a great sweeping saga of a story. The book sprang from a kernel of legend Hoffman heard about the historic siege on Masada in the Judean desert 2,000 years ago, where 900 Jews retreated to hold out against the Roman armies. Ancient historians tell of the survival of two women and five children. Hoffman brings this time and these people to exquisite life.

Four women tell the tale; Yael, the bold assassin’s daughter whose mother’s death during her birth marks her childhood and sends her into the arms of a lion; Revka, the village baker’s wife determined to safe her young grandsons, rendered mute by witnessing their mother’s death at the hands of Roman soldiers; Aziza, raised as a boy for her own protection, she finds love with another warrior on the battlefield; and Shirah, who experiences the world through the lens of ancient magic and intuition.

These vastly different women find themselves together, assigned to be the dovekeepers, in Masada. “We were no different from the doves above us. We could not speak or cry, but when there was no choice we discovered we could fly. If you want a reason, take this: We yearned for our portion of the sky (p. 397).” As their individual stories unravel together in the tower of the doves, these threads create a new fabric of life, one that holds them all.

Reading by fire.

Reading by fire.

Through each woman’s unique story, Hoffman masterfully conveys increasing depths of understanding and dispels any myths of a single historical narrative. As history unfolds around these women, each responds in ways that reach through the arc of time to resonate with the reader in the present. The rich world Hoffman spins drew me in and there I lived, loved, mourned, and hoped alongside these women. I found myself reading sentences aloud to hear the sheer beauty of the language and for their feel on my tongue. This haunting story didn’t release me even after I’d finished the book. The spellbinding world Hoffman created, and the historical events of the novel’s genesis, lingered in my mind long after—and remain with me still.

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Great New Books

Great New Books

sclogoThese reviews were written for Story Circle Network – “review site is sponsored by the Story Circle Network, a non-profit membership organization that serves women who want to tell their life stories in diaries, journals, personal essays, poetry, and memoir,” or Great New Books – “Our passion is for recommending quality books which keep us turning pages long through the night, great books which have the potential to touch hearts, and lives, and open doors to a better world.” – both marvelous resources for lovers of books! If you’re a bibliophile (like me) always looking for great books to read, sign up to receive book reviews and other celebrations of all things literary.

The stack of books in the photograph below sits waiting for me on my bedside table now. Oh, do I look forward to sinking into their worlds…

I look forward to your own recommendations to our Dewdrops community. What wonderful books can you recommend to us? Let the recommendations of great books begin!

Stack of books on my bedstand. Winter reading..

Stack of books on my bedside table. Winter reading.

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