Lakshmi's childhood in Ceylon is idyllic, but her family is poor, so at the age of 14 she is married off. Her husband promises her wealth and ease in Malaysia, but once married she discovers that he has lied and in fact lives in poverty. Undaunted, she works ceaselessly to provide for her children.
Lakshmi's childhood in Ceylon is idyllic: her mother adores her and the child runs free among the coconuts and mangoes of her native land. But the family is poor, so Lakshmi is married off, at the age of fourteen, to a man who promises her a life of wealth and ease in Malaysia. Far away from her family, Lakshmi discovers that Ayah has lied about his circumstances and in fact lives in poverty. Undaunted, she works ceaselessly to provide a good life for her children - she has five by the time she is nineteen. A woman of formidable energy and intelligence, Lakshmi has indeed provided security, if not luxury, for her family, though at a considerable emotional cost - they are all aware they cannot live up to her firece ambitions for them. Then the Japanese army invades during WWII. On the eve of peace, her beloved eldest daughter, Mohini, is raped and killed by the occupying army - a tragedy that affects all the family, particularly Mohini's twin, Lakshmnann, who feels responsible for his sister's capture. For this second generation, and for Lakshmi's grandchildren, increased prosperity does not bring happiness - it is as if the family is cursed by betrayal and secrets, and the addictions of drink, drugs and gambling. But in Nisha, Lakshmi's great-granddaughter, it is as if Fate has come full circle and the novel ends on a note of reconciliation and hope. Lyrically told through the voices of succeeding generations, The Rice Mother is a compelling glimpse into a captivatingly exotic world of myth and magic, where gods and ghosts walk hand in hand.
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A first novel of Eastern exoticism and unforgettable characters . . . You'll struggle to find a more powerful, moving read this year. - GlamourTranscends barriers of culture, time and place. Memorable for capturing the contradictions of life, the magic and the blight, it should sell in mega numbers. - Publishing NewsAn exceptional debut - The BooksellerIt would be difficult not to be seduced by the evocation of setting, family life, clothes, food and the intriguing mixture of myth, religion and superstition . . . there is a freedom and freshness in the manner in which the author explores the interior life of her characters whose idiosyncrasies and many failings are sympathetically and sometimes humorously observed . . . It possesses a genuine intimacy and passionate involvement. - Elizabeth Buchan, Times PlayTHE RICE MOTHER is exactly the kind of absorbing, cross-generational read that will pass away a few more train journeys than the average popular paperback . . . brimming over with colourful imagery, mythology, unfeeling men and vivid descriptions of cooking . . . Emotionally satisfying, complex books like this are harder to find. - HeatI simply didn't want it to end . . . The characters themselves, with their resolute individualism, ultimately seem larger than either the superbly drawn historical background or the novel's exotic setting - Image Magazine
About Rani Manicka
Rani Manicka was born and educated in Malaysia. An economics graduate, she now lives in the UK. The Rice Mother is her first novel.
The Rice Mother by Rani Manicka
Used - Very Good
Hodder & Stoughton General Division
Winner of The Commonwealth Writer's Prize Best First Book SE Asia and South Pacific 2003 Short-listed for The Commonwealth Writers Prize (Best First Book) 2003 Short-listed for WH Smith Book Awards (New Talent) 2003
Book picture is for illustrative purposes only, actual binding, cover or edition may vary.
This is a used book - there is no escaping the fact it has been read by someone else and it will show signs of wear and previous use. Overall we expect it to be in very good condition, but if you are not entirely satisfied please get in touch with us.