Monday, June 25, 2012

"The Rice Mother" - A Book Review



I havent been blogging sadly though I have been reading so now I hope to get back into writing more book reviews which means I have to catch up with a few books. Well better late then never. Enjoy reading as much as I am!



Mangoes. Ripe mangoes would be the best description I could define “The Rice Mother” by Rani Manicka. Ripe mangoes for me has always been succulent, fresh, and exotic. This is what this novel is all rolled up into one.
 
An intoxicating story of a migrant Indian family blown away by fate and brought them into Malaysia where their lives intertwined ferociously.  Lakshmi the family’s empress unyielding to life’s cruelty brought her children as best she could burying her own pain in the end her constant but misinterpreted love for her children transformed all of their lives. An inevitable tragedy shook the family, death took someone away yet Lakshmi stands firm but at the end will her children be like her as well? Firm and unyielding to life’s cruelty? Has fate been unfair to them? Will they succumb to trials or will they bend like the bamboo?


"My uncle said, My heart is my bamboo, and if I treat it kindly and listen for its song, the highest, biggest nest will surely be mine." —Lakshmi, The Rice Mother
 
I fell in love with the novel immediately as it is very close to my culture and I can very much relate to it. The landscapes with its Malaysian backdrop brings readers to an exotic place where this story has moulded the characters perfectly. Dusty streets, huts, rambutans and durians, snakes, voodoos, ancestral ghost stories, incense & mantras makes the pages more vibrant and interesting.

The novel is all about deep Love and the very thin line that separates it from pure hatred. Sometimes the people we love the most end up as someone we hate mercilessly. It is about women who are in their subtle way became the back bone of families that they might stand upright and strong or they might bend and yield to a chronic disease of pain, of envy, of lost. More importantly it is about family that whatever happens, the world might turn upside down, we might lose everything in this world and beyond but one thing will remain.....where we come from and that is our family.

Another book for unyielding women, a book for all mothers, for all wives and daughters.

I give this book a five out of five stars.
 
Thanks to Anne Marie for the recommendation. Merci Beaucoup.


M.

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