This is probably one of those most exquisitely written book of our time. Alice Hoffman is amazing.
The novel tells the story of the Jewish Massacre at Masada from the point of view of four incredibly audacious women. Hoffman goes back a year before the event and leads us towards it. Dread permeates the story, but hope lies waiting. The women are also written in such a way that you can see yourself in every one. I can't recommend this book highly enough, and it just might be my favourite book of the year.
Vantrease's The Mercy Seller isn't too far behind Dovekeepers as a stellar novel. It is the sequel to her first novel, The Illuminator. Set in the 1400s at a time when English translations of the Bible were forbidden, the characters from the first story come to life again to create a story of intrigue and idealism that was unpredictable and lovely. I was so pleased with the ending, and can't wait for another work of historical fiction from this author.