The Museum of Extraordinary Things. It looks like a good read, and I added it to my list. However, when I saw her announcement I realized I hadn't read her earlier book The Dovekeepers.
I was attracted to The Dovekeepers because over the last year I've developed a relationship with two mourning doves nesting outside my window. We have a silent agreement that I feed them when the neighbor's cat is stuck indoors, and they hang out in the late afternoons, staring at me while I work in my bubble.
I love these doves, and I've never been particularly emotionally invested in birds, so I'm a bit surprised. I guess I saw birds as pretty and entertaining creatures to watch but not interact with. However, the more I relate to these doves the more I benefit from their gentle spirits.
In many ways, The Dovekeepers is a book about the symbolic spirit of doves. A group of women learning to survive and love in a desert fortress during a horrific period in Jewish history. The stories of each of these women is both heartbreaking and breathtaking because of the courage and strength of their love. However, each of them seems to embody some aspect of dove spirit: enduring love, faithfulness, fragile courage, and patience.
People say it reminds them of The Red Tent, and it does have that same sense of time and place, but I think The Dovekeepers haunts you more. I savored The Dovekeepers like a good meal that I didn't want to finish for Alice Hoffman makes you feel like you are living alongside these quietly powerful women, absorbing the pain of what it must have been like to be a refugee in your own homeland -- the ancient desert of Judea.