Doing the Dewey: Mini Challenge #6:
My Favourite Trouble-Maker
By Zara D. Garcia-Alvarez
Of all the books I’ve read recently, I really love the book, The Dovekeepers by Alice Hoffman.
I’m a literary type and honestly didn’t expect to enjoy this book as much as I did. I wasn’t even aware of Alice Hoffman until I saw this book on Heather’s Picks at Chapters-Indigo.
(Look at me, thinking I know all there is to know about books!)
And now, one of my all-time favourite fictional characters is Shirah in The Doverkeepers.
She also happens to be a wicked anti-hero, too!
And when I say, wicked, I mean awesome and wicked—well, not that wicked—but bad enough to make you raise an eyebrow. The other characters in the novel certainly did.
Why do I love this wonderful “trouble-maker” of fiction?
Well, as a woman, she’s a powerful one: in beauty, intellect, and spirituality. She’s a single mother who was a former temple priestess, educated in language and the ways of pleasing men, mainly the priesthood. She was exiled to finally end up in Masada in a dovecote as one of the dovekeepers.
She is sensual as much as she is mysterious. And she carries within her a wisdom of ancient magic and healing powers, much to the dismay and fear of the community around her.
But, rather than use her knowledge for herself only, she helps as a midwife, helping labouring mothers in secret—especially those of whom need their secret kept.
She is a triune of sensual woman and lover, protective mother, and powerful and scorned sorcerer and friend to a group of women, who themselves are ostracized by their community in breaking Jewish law.
Anti-hero? She’s more like awesome-heroine! And mine, at that.
If you haven’t had the pleasure of reading The Dovekeepers, I highly recommend that you do. And pay special attention to Shirah. She’s as ambiguous in character as she is, extraordinary.
A special thanks to The Fake Steph Dot Com for hosting this challenge!