The evidence reveals a diversity of experiences for the Judahite exiles, and the picture of the Judahite experience in the Babylonian Exile that emerges is perhaps not as morose as previously believed.I imagine it still wasn't great for a lot of the exiles.
There is more in the full article “How Bad Was the Babylonian Exile?” by Laurie E. Pearce in the September/October 2016 issue of BAR. It is behind the subscription wall. For lots more on the (unprovenanced) Babylonian-Jewish cuneiform archive of Al-Yahudu, start here and follow the links.
Visit PaleoJudaica daily for the latest news on ancient Judaism and the biblical world.