A Shout in the Sunshine

Mara W. Cohen Ioannides

  • Review
By – December 16, 2011

David, son of a wealthy Jew­ish Greek fab­ric mer­chant, befriends Miguel, a Jew­ish Span­ish refugee from the Inqui­si­tion. Miguel and his fam­i­ly must adjust to the dif­fer­ent cus­toms of the local Jew­ish pop­u­la­tion, and David’s fam­i­ly must learn how to accept the newcomers.

While the exot­ic cus­toms described in the sto­ry are mild­ly inter­est­ing, the lack of any real plot makes for a slow read. The story’s ten­sion main­ly comes from the dis­trust between the dif­fer­ent eth­nic Jew­ish com­mu­ni­ties, and from a tem­po­rary falling out between David and Miguel. The lan­guage is for­mal and flat, and lacks the spark of life. The author has obvi­ous­ly done a great deal of research… but this obvi­ous­ness makes the book read like a lesson.

The book will prob­a­bly appeal most to Jew­ish read­ers of Greek or Span­ish descent, but may be of lim­it­ed inter­est to others. 

Hei­di Estrin is librar­i­an for the Feld­man Chil­dren’s Library at Con­gre­ga­tion B’nai Israel in Boca Raton, FL. She is a past chair of the Syd­ney Tay­lor Book Award Com­mit­tee for the Asso­ci­a­tion of Jew­ish Libraries.

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