The Forgotten Daughter Secondary Title

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.

The Forgotten Daughter

Joanna Goodman is the author of five acclaimed novels. Her previous novel The Home for Unwanted Girls was on the US trade paperback bestseller list and debuted on the Canadian bestseller list at No. 1. It held a position in the top ten for seven months.

HarperCollins US 2020

The Forgotten Daughter 

The love story between James and Véronique is the heart of this tale of passion and conflict. The time is 1992. The place is Montreal, Quebec, 60 miles from the US border. Canada is in danger of splintering as French-Canadian factions renew Quebec’s fight to gain independence from Canada.

Wild and beautiful, Véronique Fortin, daughter of a radical French-Canadian separatist who was convicted of kidnapping and murdering a prominent politician in 1970, shares her father’s cause. She harbors no moral quandaries about flouting laws against smuggling, thievery, or terror to achieve political goals. James Phénix, a fluently bi-lingual journalist of French-Canadian heritage, inhabits both worlds comfortably, and opposes Quebec separatism. He loves her desperately, fears for her safety, and begs her repeatedly to halt her dangerous criminal pursuits.

Their politically charged love affair is challenged further when James publishes his interview with her father, who has been released from prison. Véronique, stung by his betrayal, joins an extremist cell taking her further down a path of violence.

At the same time, James’s older sister Elodie Phénix, one of the Duplessis Orphans, is part of a coalition demanding justice and reparations for their suffering in the 1950’s when Quebec’s orphanages were converted to mental hospitals. This heinous political act of Premier Maurice Duplessis affected 5000 children in the province.

We met Elodie and the Phénix family in The Home for Unwanted Girls when Elodie and her parents fought to find one other. Two decades later they still struggle to bind their wounds.

For the Phénix and Fortin families, the political has become personal. Questions are large: When do morals outweigh principles? When are stakes too high? Véronique’s father spent most of her childhood in jail because he sacrificed his family and his future for his “cause.” Will Véronique make the same choice?