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.
Terry Fallis is a best selling author who has an identical twin brother, Tim Fallis.
PenguinRandomHouse Canada Fall 2017
One Brother Shy
Ottawa software engineer, Alex MacAskill, 25, is a painfully and chronically shy man whose once bright future was seriously dimmed by an incident in high school. It was not talked about, and it is known only by the family code name “Gabriel.”
Outwardly reticent, and desperate to escape notice, Alex sustains a rich, thoughtful and witty inner dialogue that helps him cope. He never knew his father, not even his name. He was raised by a single mother, Lee MacAskill, whose battle with Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis is nearing its end as the novel opens. When she dies, an envelope left for Alex reveals a secret that instantly changes his life and sets him on a search for the identical twin brother he never knew he had.
Eventually reunited with his twin, Matthew Paterson, a high-flying, charismatic entrepreneur living in London, England, they piece together shreds of evidence, including an obscure tattoo linked to the 1972 Canada-Russia hockey series, to try to find the father neither of them knew. Their travels take them to Moscow only to discover their father was hiding in plain sight back in London, where he secretly kept tabs on the twin sons. The nature of his work which prevented him from becoming involved in their lives is an important feature of the plot.
An initially rocky but ultimately happy reunion of father and sons leaves Alex with one final task. He tells Matthew about “Gabriel.” Matthew insists they both fly back to Ottawa to confront “Gabriel” and set Alex on the path to the person he should have become—as dictated by his genetic code. It is time to bring Alex’s vital and vibrant inner voice out into the open. It is also time for him to pursue a budding romance with a fiery work colleague that weaves its way through Alex’s narrative.One Brother Shy is a funny, poignant story of identical twins separated at birth, Cold War echoes, the strength of family ties, and the healing power of humour.