Sun Inside Rain, by M. Bassara

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  • This topic has 19 replies, 11 voices, and was last updated 9 years ago by lz.
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    When I was younger I read anything and everything I got my hands on (including the ingredients and nutritional values on the cereal box). Now I’m busier and read more selectively.

    Recently, someone told me to read this book and I was hesitant because I was sure that I had read everything that Jewish novels have to offer. My friend insisted that I read it and I decided to read the first few chapters.

    I was blown away and couldn’t put the book down. It is by far the best Jewish novel that I have read, and I’ve read quite a few.

    I hear that M. Bassara is releasing her second book this coming summer and I can’t wait to get it.

    Did you read this book? If yes, what were your impressions? Did you like it?

    live right

    awesome book. original setting and plot and skillfully written. I like when authors use “show me don’t tell me”. you don’t have to give out every detail of character in a paragraph. you learn about the character through the story. whenever I see a book that starts off with something along the lines of:

    “Chava was a beautiful girl with blue eyes and chocolate brown hair. She was smart and had many friends……”

    I will immediately put it down. that’s not called skillful writing.


    I read it- it was amazing! So open minded and it had a fascinating story line! I can’t wait for the new book!!!!


    I read it about 10 times – I was always wondering if she had another book – definitely excited for a new book.


    “Show don’t tell” is not always a necessity in good writing- there are many classic works in which a character is described or his/her situation explained in a more show-oriented format. I’d say that the success of either method depends on the skill and technique of the writer. I’ve read terrible books using both methods.

    After all, “she shook her bouncy brown curls in frustration and there was an angry look in her hazel eyes” isn’t necessarily good showing either.


    I have heard a ton of good reviews for “Sun Inside Rain”, and I understand why people are looking forward to the author’s future releases. That said, Ms. Bassara, you could have been a bit less transparent in promoting the book on this website. Let the conversation develop a little before you start selling.

    live right

    writersoul: true. but some of the most amazing books I have read have been a tier above the rest because of the amazing way the authors developed their characters. writing is an art and a talent and when I say “wow” over a book it is because the author has reached me and made a point in such a piercing, eye opening way. not through long, preaching paragraphs but through telling a story and revealing the intricacies and complexities of a realistic character.


    I’m curious if any of you can give me the name of a book that’s on the same standard as Sun Inside Rain – an original plot, a lot of philosophy and introspection, a heimishe flavor.

    Veltz Meshugener – Are you the guy that claims to know everything? Maybe Ms. Bassara ought to pay me for the great review (that she actually deserves), but I’m sure as you’re true to your name not M. Bassara.


    live right: of course, that goes without saying. I was just making the point that “show don’t tell” is not a hard and fast rule and that “write in whatever way shows off your talent and interest the reader, no matter how many rules it breaks” is probably a better one.

    CV: never having read Sun Inside Rain I can’t recommend a book similar, but I happen to be an extreme skeptic on the topic of Jewish books. If you want an ArtScroll book then The Gordian Knot is probably the most original and readable as long as you completely skip the last section. (And I mean completely. The first two sections actually have a very interesting and compelling plot. If he’d stopped there… but no, he has to continue on to part three, where he jams in the mysterious will, the neo-Nazi, the OTD guy who becomes a baal teshuva, the terrorist cell, and the bacteriological bomb at risk of destroying every Jew in Israel- ALL IN THE LAST 150 PAGES.)

    Otherwise I recommend Haim Sabato. I’m not sure if they sell his books in Jewish bookstores but they definitely do on Amazon and they’re great IMO. I’d start with The Dawning of the Day.


    Haim Sabato is in a class by himself. His books are beautifully written and authentic. So much of modern “Jewish literature”‘seems contrived, and tries, mostly unsuccessfully, to copy themes and plot lines from contemporary authors. Mr Sabato’s style is uniquely his own and introduces you to a world of characters you”ll think about long after you put the book back on the shelf.


    Sun Inside Rain is INCREDIBLE!I Love the original plot. We don’t find that many female rock stars in jewish lit. I wish she’d write a sequal about Joeys road to Judaism. I was so confused at that part!

    Shopping613 🌠

    What is it about?


    Click Vegetable, you have to understand my literary method. Referring to you as Ms. Bassara did not necessarily indicate that I actually thought you were Ms. Bassara. Nor does this post necessarily indicate that I think you’re not.


    Writersoul & Golfer:

    I already put a hold on The Dawning of the Day at my library and am looking forward to reading it. I read The Gordian Knot more than once and although it was pretty good, I don’t think it can compare to Sun Inside Rain. I think that the reason I like it so much is that in addition to the original plot and perfectly developed characters it addresses alot of hashkafa and emuna issues plus worldly issues such as eliteism and bigotry etc.

    All that adds incredible depth to the book.

    Shopping613 🌠

    What IS IT ANYWAY?


    It’s an amazing novel. I don’t know if you realized that nobody had anything negative to say about it, nothing. That says quite a bit about any book.

    I suggest that you read it. Let me know what you’re impressions were,


    Shopping- This book is awesome! The characters face a lot of obstacles and hardship, but the ending is sweet and satisfying. Margo, her brother Hanan, and a mixed-race orphan named Joey, form a perfect trio of friends alone in the world except each other. They bravely fight against the apartheid regime in South Africa, fighting injustice through a mixed-race rock band with lyrics that challenge the government, even when they suffer for it. They are all separated by tragic events, and the plot turns in unexpected directions.

    Margo, forced to flee the country, ends up in Israel in seminary, and discovers her Jewish heritage (this is not your typical starry-eyed baalas teshuva story either- “oh the kosel is so moving now ive found god all my problems are solved” no, it is much more interesting and nuanced than that.) There is also a lot of philosophical discussion throughout the book (the author is obviously familiar with R’ Noach Weinberg, Rabbi Keleman, and similar hashkafos), but the Jewish thoughts are not always heard from the characters you think it’ll be.

    For all the people who complain about all Jewish novels being the same, all my friends who’ve read this agree with me that this is one of the most original ones out there. Read it and see.

    Shopping613 🌠

    Wow cant wait to read it!


    I liked this book a lot because I learned about apartheid and it had a lot of technique like ‘in medias res’ where she starts a lot of the chapters in the middle and you have to figure out what’s going on. It was a little predictable- I sort of guessed the whole ending by the middle of the book, so I would’ve been pleasantly surprised if it were a sad ending. I’m not trying to be morbid, but sometimes it makes the book so much more interesting! A happy simple ending takes away a little of the great technique in the rest of the book (at least in my eyes.)

    I’m looking forward to reading more Jewish books like this though!


    oooooh this is my absolutest favoritest book ever. i’m getting all warm and fuzzy just thinking about it. brotherofurs, thanks for bringing it up 🙂 🙂 🙂

    my other favorites are deep blue and the morning star by meir uri gottesman, and the gordian knot by yair weinstock, and pyramid base by eli shekter (hope i got everyone’s names right)

    i can’t stand sad endings. i always like the happy type, but not cheesy-mushy happy type, just thoughtful-hopeful happy type.

    if you get what i mean.

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