Lori Kaufmann

Young Adult, Forthcoming, Delacorte, 2020

Lori Kaufman's DAUGHTER OF JERUSALEM, in the vein of  THE RED TENT and THE DOVEKEEPERS, offers a breathtaking portrait of a young woman who survives the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 C.E., falls in and out of love with Joseph (the historian Flavius Josephus) only to be captured and sold as a slave in Rome where she eventually finds love in the most unexpected of places and dies a free woman.

In 2003, the New York Times reported a stunning discovery: the first-century tombstone of a Jewish woman captured in Jerusalem, sold as a slave in Rome and later freed by her owner Tiberius so they could marry.

Lori Kaufman  was captivated by this ancient love story and has spent years researching the  historical events, studying Josephus, working with archaeologists and scholars, supervised closely by Prof. Jonathan Price, of the Classics and Ancient History Department of Tel Aviv University (one of the world’s experts on this period) to tell this story accurately and dramatically. Here is the link to the article about the discovery of Claudia Aster’s  gravestone from The New York Times:

In Italian Dust, Signs Of a Past Jewish Life


Esther (Claudia Aster) is an aristocratic young woman whose priestly family lives a safe and secure life in Jerusalem, with a country estate in the hills. Esther is in love with Joseph, the son of a local family, but her parents don't approve of the match and wish to marry her off to a man who is older than she is. But trouble is brewing - the Romans have invaded Jerusalem and after the death of his wife and child, her brother becomes a Sicarii - part of a band of Jewish Zealots who oppose the Roman occupation of Judea and assassinate sympathizers. As everything Esther holds dear is stripped from her, she must make choices that go against her fiery and independent nature, but she's willing to do almost anything to protect her younger brother Mati.

As Jerusalem is under siege, almost everyone that Esther loves is taken from her, but she puts her hope in Joseph who she loves, and in a Roman colleague who was working with her father - who she loathes. But she soon discovers that not everything is as it seems, and that at a time of such despair and destruction - the people you think you can trust are the ones who betray you. Esther forsakes Joseph and chooses to be sold as a slave to Rome in order to save her brother, only to find herself falling in love with the man who she thought was her enemy.

DAUGHTER OF JERUSALEM is the most stunning portrait of what life may have been like during the destruction of the Second Temple that we’ve ever read, and a true tale of forbidden love.



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