In 701 B.C. the Assyrian empire was in its ascendancy. It had already vanquished the kingdom of Israel to the north including the capital at Samaria. It then prepared an assault on Judah and its capital at Jerusalem.
But in one of those significant events that changes the course of world history, Assyria was repelled. Jerusalem was saved until 586 B.C. when the Babylonians sacked the city, forcing its leadership class into exile.
Henry Aubin, in a major feat of scholarship, determines that Jerusalem was aided by a Kushite army from Africa which had marched northeast from the Nile valley. While the Bible attributes the Assyrian retreat to an angel and secular commentators cite pestilence, Aubin, in a meticulously documented work, demonstrates that an alliance with the African nation of Kush bolstered Jerusalem’s defences.
Kush, also known as Nubia, was located in what is now southern Egypt and northern Sudan. A monarchy that existed for more than 1000 years, from 900 B.C. to A.D. 350, Kushites held sway over Egypt from 712 B.C. to about 660 B.C. Of Egypt’s 31 dynasties, this, the 25th Dynasty, is the only one that all scholars agree, was black.
The commander of the Kushite expeditionary force was Taharqa (or as the Bible calls him Tirhakah). This Kushite prince, who had his own interests in halting Assyrian expansion, likely caught the aggressors by surprise as they prepared their siege of Jerusalem.
Aubin offers a thrilling military history and a stirring political analysis of the ancient world. He also sees the event as influential over the centuries.
The Kushite rescue of the Hebrew kingdom of Judah enabled the fragile, war-ravaged state to endure, to nurse itself back to economic and demographic health, and allowed the Hebrew religion, Yahwism, to evolve within the next several centuries into Judaism. Thus emerged the monotheistic trunk supporting Christianity and Islam.
“Irresistible…Masterful…The rich, rocky terrain of Newfoundland has borne a native storyteller with talent to burn in Donna Morrissey.”
Sunday Tribune, Dublin
Forum Sweden 2004
Aoyama Japan 2003
Houghton Mifflin US 2001
Heyne Germany 2001
Hodder&Stoughton UK 2000
Penguin Canada 1999
There is no road to Rocky Head or The Basin, two tiny fishing hamlets hugging the isolated coves of Newfoundland. Nonetheless, WW II intrudes.
Job Gale, a fisherman, hunter, logger, joins the army, leaving his distraught wife and two young daughters. When Job returns, he is broken in body and tortured with a secret shame that cascades over the family.
His young daughter Clair escapes by becoming a teacher at nearby Rocky Head, then falls in love with Luke, who courts her from afar with a story which reveals his own secret sorrow.
Donna Morrissey embraces the great dramas and themes of world literature in this deceptively simple story of two lovers.