One of the best books I've read. Saw a documentary on Masada many years ago and found it intriguing how a settlement of people lived and died on top of that mountain. Willing to commit suicide rather than be taken into a life of slavery. This novel gave insight to how real lives may have been lived and the many trials they went through over the years. Though the book centers on several main characters it still gives you a sense of what some lived with or through. And how women carried the burden of being women, feeling one way but having to act in another. The book is long, but once I got into it, it was hard to put down. It also came out that many of these women had intertwining lives that they didn't realize. Though I knew the story of Masada, I still was interested in how the author would tell the story and bring it to an end. Was not disappointed.....though towards the end I actually became very sad at so many having to come to such a fate.