Book: New Rain
Author: Eve West Bessier

New Rain If ever the term “multi-media” fit like a glove, it does in the case of describing the life and artistry of Eve West Bessier (pronounced Bessie-yay). Eve is known for her many and diverse talents. On the musical end of her artistic spectrum, she is a top-notch jazz vocalist, voice coach, and studio musician/ voice-over artist. On the literary side, Eve is an award-winning author of fiction, non-fiction, and poetry, as well as being the Poet Laureate Emeritus of the City of Davis, CA, where she lived for many years and earned her Master’s Degree from the University of California. She is also a visual artist/ painter and photographer. Now, after recently moving to Santa Fe, New Mexico, Eve can add the title of “novelist” to her impressive resume, with the completion of her first novel, New Rain.

The book has had an unusually long gestation period before reaching completion. As Eve Eveexplains: “I first wrote New Rain in Davis, California in 1989. I rewrote the novel in a cabin in the Rocky Mountains above Boulder, Colorado in 1997. On March 14, 2015, in Santa Fe, New Mexico, I completed this final rewrite. New Rain has lived in three states of the union, and my dream of publishing this book has persisted over three decades.”

The book is described as “a visionary science fiction novel filled with adventure, romance, humor, metaphysics, and spiritual guidance from a mystical text called, The Mhalanai Book of Ways.” Since the author is best suited to provide an accurate synopsis of the book, I’ll defer to her description: “Sola Alturas, a young sales rep for Interstellar Data Systems, arrives on the planet Caifanii, with its rainforest heat, massive oceans, and two moons, ready to earn the largest commission of her career. She also hopes to find enticing local delicacies to include in the second edition of her cookbook, Cuisines of the Cosmos. Her briefing materials, however, fail to mention that a revolutionary movement called the Mhalanai Trust is pushing for peaceful global transformation based on ancient wisdom, while the corrupt Caifanii government pushes back with violence. When Sola accidentally gets pulled into the struggle, her life evolves in miraculous ways.”

cover artI found the book to be a fascinating and thoroughly engrossing read, and once I got into it, it was hard to put it down. It’s a stellar (literally) adventure that had me wondering how it was going to end right up to the last chapter. However, Eve has cleverly fashioned the ending so that a sequel could easily follow – and I hope it does! What appealed to me most was the deeply spiritual nature of the people her life became intertwined with on this far away planet. These gentle loving beings and their connection to nature as well as the higher dimensions, at times called to mind the Na’vis from the planet Pandora in the movie Avatar. There were various moments in the reading of New Rain that I thought of this comparison, although Eve’s book is truly its own story. I often found the depth and breadth of her imagination astounding. Also, the incredible level of detail she has provided about this alien culture adds a sense of reality to this fictional world.

Although the novel is set in the future, it is peppered with references to pop culture from our time that add fun and amusing points of reference that we can relate to, and often get a chuckle out of. In fact, there is a good deal of humor that contrasts with the serious and sometimes suspenseful situations faced in the book. There are also some intriguing romantic elements as well. But while these aspects add additional dimensions and layers to the story, it is really the metaphysical teachings that are the main attraction. The Mhalanai Book of Ways is full of ancient wisdom that interestingly bears some similarities to the shamanism of Hawaii, where Sola was born. Topics like mysticism, spiritual healing, chakras, herbs, dolphins, telepathy, astral projection, and more take this story into the realm of visionary sci-fi, although no previous experience with science fiction is required to enjoy this book. However, Star Trek fans will get a kick out of some of the references that are made.

Eve West Bessier seems to excel at all her artistic pursuits, and her first venture into being a the jazz singernovelist is certainly no exception. The book is extremely well written, and above all, inspiring. Some of the teachings gave me a lot to think about, and beyond being an entertaining story, contained wisdom that applies to my own life. This was one of those books I didn’t want to end, and perhaps it won’t if a sequel is in the works. Although, hopefully, it won’t take as long in coming to term as this one did. But I’m sure that the popularity and success that this book is destined to achieve will create a fan base that will want to read more from this talented and insightful author.

(New Rain is available as an e-book on Amazon, and for only $2.99, is hard to pass up. Incidentally, I don’t have a Kindle reader and I downloaded it and read it on my laptop. This was the first time I had read a book in this format on the computer and I found it a surprisingly nice way to enjoy it. To download or to read a generous sample of the book for free, click here.)

Video of Eve performing her original jazz poetry with The Brubeck Institute Jazz Quintet: