Read Madre del riso by Rani Manicka Anna Luisa Zazo Online


Lakshmi trascorre l'infanzia libera e spensierata nell'intatta natura dell'isola di Ceylon. Niente e nessuno l'ha preparata a un cambiamento per lei incomprensibile: sposare - a soli quattordici anni - un uomo molto più vecchio e trasferirsi in una terra - la Malaysia - davvero troppo lontana. Lakshmi si trova così a doversi costruire un mondo da sola, senza l'appoggio delLakshmi trascorre l'infanzia libera e spensierata nell'intatta natura dell'isola di Ceylon. Niente e nessuno l'ha preparata a un cambiamento per lei incomprensibile: sposare - a soli quattordici anni - un uomo molto più vecchio e trasferirsi in una terra - la Malaysia - davvero troppo lontana. Lakshmi si trova così a doversi costruire un mondo da sola, senza l'appoggio del marito, con tutte le difficoltà di una madre costretta a guadagnarsi, giorno per giorno, una dignitosa sopravvivenza. La durezza e la passione di quegli anni creano un'indimenticabile figura di donna: è lei la Madre del Riso, forte e magica, complessa e misteriosa, moderna ma legata a tradizioni millenarie. Le sue vicende familiari percorrono tutto il Novecento fino a costruire un affresco incredibilmente ricco, in cui si intrecciano l'amore assoluto, l'ansia di vendetta, la paura e il riscatto, sullo sfondo dell'occupazione giapponese della Malaysia....

Title : Madre del riso
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9788804532620
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 475 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Madre del riso Reviews

  • Yosita Oramahi
    2019-04-30 20:33

    After two full days, I finally finished reading Rani Manicka's debut novel, The Rice Mother. So intense is the storyline, I found myself clenching my fist and gritting my teeth from time to time as I breathed in the wonderful storytelling. Love, betrayal, anger, sorrow, hope, denial, happiness, longing, despair, deceit, infedility, honesty, pain and a thousand other emotions are spun and woven beautifully in this 580 page work of art, spanning a period of 85 years over 4 generations. It's been a long time since I last read an intense gripping book and I'm glad i brought home this title from the bookshop not so long ago. Highly recommended, this title will surely chart in my all-time favourite list from now on.

  • Tania
    2019-05-11 00:05

    Life had yet to teach me that a child’s love can never equal a mother’s pain.A fast-paced family saga depicting life in Malaysia through four generations. The author does an amazing job showing the change in lifestyle and culture over an 85 year period. The first and last chapter could almost feel like different books if it weren’t for the recurring themes. I thought the cast of characters were beautifully described and I loved that none of them were perfect. I hated Rani, my heart broke for poor Mui Tsai and Lakshmi was a one of the most complex characters I’ve ever come across. Some of the reviews complain that the story is too full and moves too fast, but I think this is one of the reasons I enjoyed it so much – it quickly hooks you in, and does not let go. If you don’t enjoy stories drenched in sadness this is not for you.The Story: The Rice Mother details the struggles of a Matriarch determined to advance her children, and the scars her ambition leaves on the family.

  • Chrissie
    2019-05-10 20:05

    I loved the beginning of the book which centers on Lakshmi and Ayah. Lakshmi is a true person, the "fierce spirit" of the author's grandmother. Did I like reading about her most because she is the one true character of the book? This bothered me. It also bothered me that the book is about Lakshmi and her strong hold and relationship to her family. So how can the grandmother part of this story be true and not any of the other people? The book was all about family relations...... So in the beginning this book was earning 5 stars, but it only ended up with 3. The other characters of the family that folowed the strong grandmother made such a glorious mess of their lives. They had no strength whatsoever. I didn't really enjoy reading about how one succumbs to gambling, another to opium, another to drink, another to unlucky omens. And when Mohini died, it not only destroyed the family but also made the rest of the novel go downhill. She was more than beauty. She was hope and goodness. Nevertheless the book was very well written, I just found the end all so depressing. Yes, I know life is this way and we all fumble through it, but I need to see some hope. I know the hope does exist because as the author clearly implies the family does continue and the spirit of Lakshmi did live on in the family lines. The glimmer of hope in the future just wasn't enough for me. It is well written and there really is alot to suck on, or savor, as Kirkus so aptly puts it.

  • Ave
    2019-05-11 23:03

    I think this must be, for me, the Malaysian equivalent of A Thousand Splendid Suns. A dense, poetic, evocative, sensual, lush, decadent story. This was a heavy read at times, with much savagery and tragedy within, but Manicka drew me wholly into the intoxicating world of Malaysia.This debut novel was an addictive page turner for the parts which deal with Lakshmi's forced marriage and the births of her 6 children, and then the Japanese occupation of Malaysia during World War Two. Selfishly, I wish the novel had expanded more on this enthralling, heartbreaking period, rather than continuing on to modern day at all. Though, of course, it had to follow out The Rice Mother's line through to her true heir. I cannot quite account for why I became so attached to this story - given I despised far too many characters, and despaired of their fates. Manicka bewitched me, with both her descriptive prowess and her abiding love for the enchanting culture, people and land of Malaysia.There are so many indelible images enfolded in this read; I feel it will take a week to unpack them all. The kind of book that necessitates a light & easy read next. Certainly I will treasure from this novel some beautiful moments in prose:"She had betrayed him. He who loved her so dearly. She felt defeated by her own impatience, her own incredibly clever mind. Her head had ruined her heart.""I have been weak and pathetic because I forgot that love comes and goes like the dye that colours a garment. I mistook love for the garment. Family is the garment. Let her wear her family with pride""I see her. Flowers grow beneath her feet, but she is not dead at all. The years have not diminished the Rice Mother. She is fierce and magical. Stop despairing and call to her, and you will see, she will come bearing a rainbow of dreams"Now excuse me while I go order some Malaysian food, because I've never craved it more! The author's descriptions of traditional cultural food, are sublime...

  • Dana
    2019-04-26 22:25

    This book is about four generations of a family in Malaysia. Lakshmi, from Ceylon, is duped into marrying Ayah. He portrays himself as a wealthy man. But everything is an illusion even down to the borrowed gold watch. Ayah is a civil servant who while kindly and loving is a plodding unintelligent man. Lakshmi has 6 children by the time she is nineteen. She makes friends with the Chinese servant girl next door, Mui Tsai. Mui is forced to have sex with her master and each child is given to a different wife.This story weaves a tale during the Japanese occupation and beyond. As weak as Ayah is, Lakshmi is a strong and formidable matriarch. Her first two children are twins, Lakshmnan and Mohini. Lakshmi must keep Mohini save from the Japanese and the torture they will submit Mokini to if they find her. There is tradegy upon tradegy and she faces each challenge and keeps on going.The prose in the book is absolutely amazing. The description of the Japanese occupation is hideous. The culture, pre-war and after is described. Children with beauty and lightness of skin colour are highly valued.The story is told from the viewpoint of each of the characters. I found this story very compelling. So compelling, I just could not put the book down.

  • LemonLinda
    2019-04-27 18:26

    I could not believe that this one is a debut novel. This author has quite a promising career. The book gripped me from the beginning and never let go. The family saga spanning about 80 years in time beginning in the 1920s is told from the perspective of many different family members spanning four generations. I loved that way of telling the story of this family set in Malaysia dealing with all of their adversities (and they had many) including the Japanese occupation during WWII. But later it is revealed that there is a definite reason for telling the story in this manner. And that is only one of the many surprises. Toward the end of the book there is a gap in the story which at first annoyed me and then the reason was revealed which brings the entire book together into one cohesive story. It was so compelling and riveting that it was hard to put down especially as you neared the ending. From Lakshmi (the Rice Mother) who in her own tragic way does her utmost to shape her family into the picture of success and prosperity to Nisha, the great granddaughter who works to reestablish her family ties, this story is filled with drama, passion, sorrow, tragedy and triumph. A great one that I would highly recommend.

  • Кремена Михайлова
    2019-05-16 21:14

    Интересна градация имаше във възприемането ми на книгата. В началото не ми хареса, подразних се от сходството с другата книга на авторката („Японският любовник), но постепенно различната й сила се появи. Допадна ми, че майката разказва от свое име, а после децата й и други герои също разказват от първо лице. Имаше динамика и свързаност и същевременно интересно представяне на едни и същи неща от различни гледни точки (чрез различните разказвачи). Към средата вече чувствата и събитията станаха доста „интензивни“. Героите, макар и деца на една майка, бяха толкова различни и реални. Но в последните 150 стр. интересът ми спадна рязко – героите се поизгубиха, пропуснаха се периоди от време... Когато започнаха да се появяват основно герои от трето поколение (че и четвърто), не усещах същата близост с героите като в средата на романа. Книгата ми „зададе“ следните въпроси – защо така се получава, въпреки огромните усилия на една майка и пълната отдаденост и желание за успех и щастие на децата – огледах героите и видях щастлива и с хубаво семейство само една от дъщерите, обясних си го с това, че единствено тя беше получила умерено внимание и грижа – нито беше любимото дете, което беше погубено от свръхлюбовта на майката, нито беше пренебрегвана и неоценена като някои от другите деца... Видях и лесното прокрадване на яростната омраза, която се настанява трайно и последствията й не изчезват с поколения... Въпреки идеята за пътя напред в самия край (но наистина всичко ми беше „размито“ в последните части), остава тежкото чувство за много изгубено. Не мога да отрека обаче, че с отдалечаването от войната/окупацията имаше известно „изчистване”. (Дори се зачудих – трябва ли да има такива тежки събития, че да е приковано вниманието на читателя или авторката наистина не е успяла да доразвие нещата докрай/или аз не видях нещо…)Като цяло – силен образ на „майката-орлица”... Най-интересно в тази книга ми беше явлението „семейство“. В онези години и места направо си е било "мисия" за една жена (жена ли? или млада неука девойка, принудително тръгнала от едно затънтено място към непознатата джунгла на живота, неподготвена - но смело скочила и поела нещата, вероятно вярвала, че прави най-доброто...)

  • Angela
    2019-04-26 22:24

    Lovely novel - I love to travel through my books... When I don't have enough money to buy a ticket to a far away place, or when the times I wish to visit have already passed a long time ago, I open a book and read. This book took me to Malaysia, into the lives of three generations of women who struggle to make ends meet and raise their families. A beautiful story about love and war, mango trees and spiced rice.

  • Jignasha
    2019-05-14 17:20

    The Rice Mother starts with the story of Lakshmi, a young, carefree Sri Lankan girl whose world is turned upside down when, at fourteen, she is married off to a much older man from Malaysia under the pretext of riches and luxury.Duped but refusing to cower down, Lakshmi faces her struggles bravely, and has six children by the time she's turned 19. Lakshmi's struggles to keep her house running, and her family functioning are commendable, and just when things are beginning to go uphill, the Japanese invade Malaysia during World War II. Overnight, her world changes, as young girls turn into boys, and Lakshmi has to hide her oldest daughter (who is described to be as beautiful as the celestial Apsara Menaka) from the Japanese soldiers.Midway during the book, an event during this war changes the family, beyond the point of no return. We watch the six children grow up (each have their own chapters as narrators) to be drunk gamblers, idlers, or good for nothing miserable wretches. Lakshmi becomes cruel with every passing day, and regularly turns her children's lives to hell, all in the name of protecting them.The problem lies with the second half, when the children and their wives and their kids all get their own POVs, making the read a tedious one, as there isn't enough depth or focus to actually care about them. What starts off as a notable journey of a woman's resilience to extreme conditions soon turns into a mess with the litany of characters thrown in, all of whom are first-rate losers. After a point, the prose, overwrought with sentimentality, fails to evoke sympathy, and I was left wishing for it to end soon.The book has its shining moments, of course - Lakshmi's husband, although dumb and weak, is shown to be a wonderful man, who the children turn to when their mother becomes a force of terror. His experience with the war is one of the highlights of the book, but fails to save the work as a whole. There is redemption at the end, not for Lakshmi and her brood, but for the great granddaughter, who finally discovers, and accepts the tragic legacy of her ancestors, to redeem herself from the sorrows in her own life.All in all, 3 stars, because it isn't a bad book by any standard, but in my opinion, rather forgettable.Some quotes I loved:“I was born in Ceylon in 1916 at a time when spirits walked the earth just like people, before the glare of electricity and the roar of civilization had frightened them away into the concealed hearts of the forests.”“Life had yet to teach me that a child’s love can never equal a mother’s pain.”“I have been weak and pathetic because I forgot that love comes and goes like the dye that colours a garment. I mistook love for the garment. Family is the garment. Let her wear her family with pride.”

  • Matt
    2019-04-25 19:20

    In short, this book is gut-wrenching. Truly a tough read, the telling of a family's dreadful prophecy and its lengthy unfolding over multiple generations.At its best, it's a tribute to the tenacity of "powerless" women, the child brides of history who accepted their fates and challenges. At its best, it lends a voice to powerless women of traditional societies.It also delivers on Asian folklore. Manicka has a great talent for writing beautiful sentences.That said, I found it tedious. The only thing that really changes in the book is that time passes. The characters remained disappointingly two-dimensional, forever stuck either by circumstance or by their own limitations: women's powerlessness, compounded by poverty, superstition and resignation.Ultimately, for me, it's too many broken people, too much hopelessness. I certainly don't need everything I read to be about the triumph of human spirit. But it's another thing entirely to see the human spirit relieved only in death. At some point I became defeated by the narrative, just like many of the women who knew no pleasure and seemed to experience only insult and rape. Perhaps this is the intention, as it has the feel of a fairy tale. But it just wasn't for me."The past is like an armless, legless cripple with crafty eyes, a vindictive tongue, and a long memory."

  • Diane
    2019-05-03 16:26

    February Smart Women Book Club selection. I knew nothing of this book nor the author before it was selected by my Book Club for our March read. I cannot say enough about it. I found it compelling, and could hardly put the book down. A family's saga spanning approximatly 80 years. Each chapter told in a different voice; each voice so different. There were so many layers, things left unsaid, feelings not given into. Much sorrow and strength within this family's story. The writing was beautiful. As soon as I finished it, I passed it onto a friend. Well worth the read. I don't think I will ever forget this story.

  • Mari
    2019-05-12 17:04

    3,5-4 tähteä vaikea sanoa.

  • Agnese
    2019-05-03 21:28

    Šī bija grāmata, kuru varēju arī nelasīt, jo, ja gribu būt godīga, lielākoties ar to mocījos.Kad es izvēlos grāmatas vērtējumu, tad zvaigznītes simbolizē ne tikai manas izjūtas skalā "patika - nepatika", bet arī to, cik ļoti grāmata lasīšanas laikā pievilka, cik spēcīga bija vēlme brīvajos brīžos to paņemt rokās un turpināt lasīt. Šajā gadījumā es nevarētu likt vairāk par divām zvaigznītēm, bet trešā, manuprāt, grāmatai pienākas par to, ka tajā ir ļoti daudz informācijas un tā tiešām ļauj iepazīt citu, pavisam eksotisku kultūru. Diemžēl paralēli romānā ir par daudz vardarbības un melnu kaislību, kas arī bija par iemeslu, kādēļ man bija tiešām minimāla vēlme turpināt lasīt, un šī nevēlēšanās lasīt saglabājās konstanta visu mūsu kopā būšanas laiku.

  • Felice
    2019-05-21 16:12

    There is nothing new about a storyline that takes a woman with no education, no experience in the world who winds up either a widow or with a wastrel husband, a brood and no means of support for her family. It's been done by male and female writers, it's been played out in every possible kind of setting and time period from ancient Roman households to Mayberry. So as an author if you're going to take that crumbly old plot and make it the center of your novel you had better be able to pony up some good writing to make it palatable. In the novel,The Rice Mother, author Rani Manicka does just that.Lakshmi is the Mother in this multi-generational story. In the early 1920's she is married off and leaves her native Ceylon with her husband, Ayah, for Maylasia. Once in Maylaysia Lakshmi learns that her 37 year old husband had borrowed a gold watch and a servant in order to convince her Mother that he was rich and marry her. In reality he's a clerk who lives a hand to mouth existence. However what's done is done. She is now a fourteen year old wife, housekeeper and stepmother. It isn't long before it's clear to Lakshmi that although Ayah is basically a good man and loves her that he is incapable of supporting them. By the time she turns nineteen, Lakshmi has in quick succession given birth to six children. It is only her sheer force of will that keeps her family together. For the family the worst is yet to come with WWII and the occupation by the Japanese. It is a brutal and faith testing time that leaves them scarred forever. Although larger than life as all matriarchs are in these kinds of novels, Lashmi is a believably flawed person. Her evolution from happy teenager daydreaming about her future to an embittered, hard, angry, able to make the tough decisions that may cost her children's love woman is honestly depicted through her experiences and circumstances. Author Manicka moves the novel forward through Lakshmi, her children and her grandchildren with mutilate family members (living and deceased) taking their turn telling the story. The characters limited choices, weaknesses and their temptations are successfully detailed against fifty years of Malaysian history. The Rice Mother is a big novel with some first time novelist missteps. The book is a little too cluttered with sometimes too convenient plot twists and one or two of the characters are cartoonish in their evilness. That said it is also a well written, interesting dissection of a world and a time that most of us know little about. Manicka's obvious knowledge of and affection for the culture and beauty of Maylasia is evident throughout the book. The Rice Mother is a journey into a family whose difficult lives and small victories enrich the rest of us.

  • Cortney
    2019-05-17 00:18

    This book was up and down for me almost the entire time, sometimes within the same page. I think it could have used a better editor, perhaps, to hone in on the heart of the story and trim off the distractions flapping 'round the edges.My main problem, which might not be entirely fair, is that this read like a poor rendition of The Poisonwood Bible, in terms of theme and the devices used to tell the story. It was a multiple narrator novel, with the narrator's name as the chapter title. The trouble, as I noted when I was halfway through, is that, in the absence of the titles, I would have been hard pressed to distinguish the characters from one another. This is perhaps where some editing would have been useful- I think it was hard to meaningfully flesh out unique characterizations and voices with so many narrators tromping through the story. One major issue I have with the characterization (spoiler alert) is the way the matriarch, the Rice Mother, Lakshmi, was portrayed as a wild and carefree spoiled child who roamed free until she was 14. At that point she was promptly taken into the home and turned into a woman, and soon, a child bride. The rest of the novel is an ode to her iron will, her impeccable cooking/cleaning/organization, and the way she fought tooth and nail for her children. What I kept wondering was how such a woman sprang from the spoiled only child from the first few pages? It never made sense to me that Lakshmi would be a steely, determined, disciplined, focused woman. Where did she learn this? It seems like a minor quibble, but really, the entire novel (and the title) is based on the power of the matriarch, so it seemed strange the author would not have given more thought to how her childhood and upbringing were presented in order to be consistent. The prose was often lovely, the setting was interesting, and there were moments of real beauty here and there. I also found bits of it awkward and strangely out of place. I suppose this just goes back to my first reaction, that it was up and down the entire time. The inconsistency made it hard for me to hit a groove, and thus I found myself strangely unmoved by the major tragedy that altered the family forever. It was sad, but it seemed so calculated, and so obvious, that I knew what was going to happen before it ever happened (the foreshadowing was quite heavy handed) and when it did happen it felt inevitable instead of shocking or surprising.The story line I was most drawn to was the uncle's- Sevenese. From his childhood spent with the snake charmer's boy to the debauchery of his nomadic, bachelor ways, I found him the most interesting. I would have gladly sacrificed one or two of the more clunky narrators to hear more from him.

  • Ricardo Vasconcelos
    2019-04-22 22:15

    I loved this book. The way the story is told is really fantastic!The main character, Lakshmi, is not the only one who narrates the events.We have the opportunity to read some parts of the story narrated by various members of the family and it's amazing to see how Rani Manicka maintained the consistency of the plot from beginning to end!I found this way of writting really cool and unique because not all characters had the same perspective of some of the events.There are attitudes from some characters who are a little hard to understand at first, but it's intentional to keep us wondering until the very end where some events are explained making it all a lot clearer. This adds a nice sensation of mystery and suspense to the whole experience!Besides that, the book made me more aware of some cultural facts that I loved to know about the Asian cultures!Some parts of the story are funny and of easy reading while other parts made me cry as they were a little too heavy and were also based on true events. ( The Japanese looting villages and raping and slaughtering innocent people during WW2, for instance )

  • Anna
    2019-04-20 17:04

    IF I was talented enough to be a writer, this is exactly how I would write my stories. Her writing is so magical it felt like a fairytale ... only it wasn’t, the culture and traditions in Malaysia were rather harsh and far from a fairytale. The child in me read each line wide-eyed and anxious about the princess hidden in the castle and the evil dragons with black eyes who sought to find her. The woman in me read each line in complete anguish as I was able to put myself in the shoes of every female character in this story. The story was amazing however, the writing was second to none.The only reason why I did not give this book a 5 star rating is because I could have done without the addition of the last generation of this family. By the end, there were so many characters that I was having a hard time remembering them all.

  • Andreial77
    2019-05-02 18:13

    Uma escrita fluída, surpreendente e muito envolvente.

  • Smitha
    2019-05-01 18:28

    Nothing in Lakshmi's childhood, running carefree and barefoot on the sun-baked earth amid the coconut and mango trees of Ceylon, could have prepared her for what life was to bring her. At fourteen, she finds herself traded in marriage to a stranger across the ocean in the fascinating land of Malaysia.She realizes when she reaches Malaysia, that her husband was far from the rich man her mother was getting her married to. That was all Lakshmi's mother wanted, a good match for her daughter. For her daughter to escape the misfortunes that she herself had to live through, and even that, Lakshmi realized wouldn't happen. Her husband Ayah, was not only not rich, he was just a civil servant, neck deep in debts. It took all of Lakshmi's willpower and mental strength to whip things into shape. To get her husband's finances in order and to make the most of a bad situation. Gone was the carefree, happy girl. In her place was a determined, strong woman, sometimes too strong for the rest of her family.She gives birth to six children by the time she is nineteen. Her only real friendship is with Mai Tai, who is a servant in a rich Chinese household. Mai Tai is forced to bear children for her master, and then see her children taken away and given to his wives. Mai Tai's only link to kindness(and normalcy) was through Lakshmi.It is an epic tale encompassing, three generations of Lakshmi's family, through everyday life, heartbreaks, loss and political events like the Japanese invasion of Malaysia. Narrated by the various characters, recorded by Lakshmi's grand daughter Dimple, and discovered by her great grand daughter, Nisha. The book absolutely transports you into Malaysia. You are right there, witnessing Lakshmi's friendship with Mai Tai, feeling their terror when the Japanese invasion takes place, you see different perspectives on the same incident when narrated by different people. The constant factor is Lakshmi's strong character(and sometimes stubbornness), be it when she comes to term with the reality of her husband's situation, when she devises ways of keeping her daughters safe during the Japanese invasion, when her beloved daughter dies, leaving everybody bereft or when she sees everything a fortune teller had foreseen coming true. We can feel Lakshmi's despair which she hides from the rest of her family, when she sees her gentle, unintelligent husband being the one everybody has a kind corner for, and she, who does so much for everybody, bearing the brunt of all criticism, both spoken and unspoken.It is a story with a lot of sadness, but it keeps the attention of the reader until the very end. It is a tale of choices that people make, sometimes, knowing, and almost inviting trouble..  It is the sort of book, I think, would be great for book club reading. There is so much to analyze, so many layers to the story and the characters. No character is just black and white, with the exception of Mohini, who came across through every narrative someone really good at heart.  Each of the characters are well fleshed out, and that couldn't be an easy task, given that there are so many of them. All their narratives ring true. The writing is vivid, so clear that you could be right there. I just love books like that.It is a book I would certainly recommend. It is not a cheerful, bubbly read, if that is what you are after. I give it a 4/5.

  • Roberta
    2019-04-23 22:32

    Spesso, quando leggo queste saghe famigliari, mi torna in mente l'aforisma di Tolstoj: "Tutte le famiglie felici si somigliano; ogni famiglia infelice è invece disgraziata a modo suo".Questa famiglia malese ha lavorato molto per la propria infelicità. Sarà che ho letto tanti romanzi che trattano di saghe famigliari, sarà che sono un po' stanca ed ho la testa altrove, ma non mi è piaciuto poi così tanto. Il nucleo originale, cioè Lakshmi ed il marito Ayah, sono gli unici personaggi che mi sono sembrati concreti. Ci aggiungo Mui Tsai, la povera serva cinese della porta accanto, la cui storia avrebbe potuto diventare un ramo indipendente di questo albero di mango di 475 pagine, ma che non è stata sviluppata tanto quanto avrebbe potuto.Lakshmi è una sposa bambina che da Ceylon viene portata in Malesia. Quello che sembra essere un ricco pretendente si rivela un povero impiegato ed i sogni di benessere svaniscono presto. La ragazza però è forte - è la madre del riso del titolo - e prenderà in mano la situazione economica della famiglia in crescita. I problemi sorgono con la nscita dei figli, che Lakshmi tratta come l'ennesima proprietà da far fruttare. Credo sia una reazione comprensibile: la donna si è annullata per fornire loro una buona educazione, una casa pulita, buon cibo, buoni partiti al momento dei matrimoni. Tuttavia le persone non rispondono a queste cure come i polli e le mucche su cui ha investito per sostenersi durante la guerra e ci sono molti errori e molti fallimenti. Il primo, il più grande, quello che segnerà la famiglia per le generazioni a venire, è la morte della primogenita.Una parte interessante del romanzo racconta dell'occupazione giapponese durante la seconda guerra mondiale. Da europei noi siamo abituati a sentir parlare delle atrocità tedesche o dell'arrivo degli americani, ma difficilmente siamo esposti ai dolori che il conflitto ha portato su lidi lontani come quelli malesi. L'Asia ha sofferto, e molto, per le mani dell'esercito nipponico, che si è accanito principalmente sui cinesi ma che non ha disdegnato di stuprare e sfruttare le altre etnie che incontrava sul proprio passaggio. L'errore di Lakshmi arriva via radio: sentendo della bomba atomica e della sconfitta del Giappone sulla BBC si rilassano, dimenticando che gli invasori sono pur sempre nel villaggio. La figlia prediletta non è più nascosta: viene vista, viene rapita. Non tornerà. La famiglia non si riprenderà mai del tutto dal lutto.Gli altri figli crescono, arrivano i nipoti. Il loro status sembra migliorare, almeno economicamente. Il racconto, si intuisce, sarà circolare: l'ultima nipote riscatterà le fatiche delle generazioni che l'hanno preceduta, comprenderà gli antenati e sarà l'unica in grado di mettere insieme le tante opinioni.

  • Amalie
    2019-04-29 19:03

    I'm impressed with this book regarding the amount of characters that we meet and the fact that it is surprisingly well organized. There is a decent cohesion in the book and the secrets of the story are revealed subtly and through different characters.This is a multi-generational saga told in first person. Focusing mainly on women, starting with Lakshmi who, at age fourteen, is duped into marrying a man more than twice her age. The mother from the first generation and the first narrator. There is much sadness in this book, but I wouldn't call it a sad book. It reflects the realities of happiness and tragedy within a family. This book is certainly an experience. , the first daughter: "Mohini was hiding behind the curtains. Like a cat. Beautiful, soft, and perfectly white with large green eyes." I have seen perfectly white gardenias and dahlias,It's only after reading this I realized that many of us Sri Lankans have Malaysian names or vice versa.-------------------In the novel, Mohini is the first daughter of Lakshmi. She is so beautiful and that leads to a tragic end. Usually this is a funny name to give to your daughter in Sri Lanka. Mohini is a well-feared female evil spirit usually accosted lone males at nighttime of course and would beg them to look after the child for a while. If the man agreed it was usually the end, and would suffer for the rest of your life with various mental and physical illnesses; that is, if you did not die then and there of fright. So seeing a pretty woman with long curly hair carrying a child at night time near the cemetery was a joke for guys and a game of "chicken". :) Names and cultures: a funny story.

  • Stephanie Anze
    2019-05-21 18:03

    Lakshmi is a carefree girl that enjoys running barefoot among the mango trees. Her childhood is suddenly cut short when she is made a child bride and forced to marry a man more than twice her age (Lakshmi is 14 years old), believing that he is wealthy. Soon as Lakshmi arrives in her new home, she discovers that to be a lie for her new husband is only a common servant. Lakshmi is thus abruptly pushed into a harsh life and the choices she makes will have repercussions on future generations.This novel is not an easy or fast read. The plot is intense and, at time, cringe-worthy. Many times, I wanted to stop reading but I continued for the writing, as tough as the subject matter is, was well executed. We meet Lakshmi, just a child when she is made a bride. By the time she is nineteen, she is a mother to six children. Having experienced a range of difficulties in her life, from losing her childhood to living during the Japanese occupation, Lakshmi is a complex character. This novel spans four generations and is narrated by a number of voices. For the most part, that worked, but at times it felt cumbersome. As far as characterization is concerned, it was done well. Rani Manicka depicts each character in such a way that the reader felt everything from sympathy to disgust. That is to say that Lakshmi was not always agreeable and that Ayah (her husband) was not exactly a monster. I have to dock a star for the tone of the book changed towards the end, making it feel almost like a different novel. My final thoughts on the novel, its far from being a fun and cheerful narrative but kudos to Manicka for a realistic telling of a complicated situation.

  • Karla
    2019-05-11 00:14

    In the land of far away exotic Malaysia lives the beloved and hated Indian Rice mother named Lakshmi seeming IMO to be some sort of human deity. struggling to raise a family trying to be protective but losing the grip on her her inner demons. Her family fights an unyelding curse she refuses to believe. Through unrelenting frustrations, failures, tragic loss and horrible atrocities from the Japanese brutality during WWII you would think that if any of them survived it, they could face anything together. But with the unthinkable, the link is broken and their scars are too deep to bear. This is an engrossing epic family story, spanning over 80 years. I adored the richly woven traditional folklore and evocative symbolism of spiders and birds, honestly I am still trying to wrap my head around it all. This story felt like a real tale told from generation to generation as a trail of secrets, dreams and wisdom to solve the family puzzle and to find a place of healing. We get the privilage of reading this mythical private journey. I devoured the mysterious Eastern magic, how often do you get a story with a character like a snake charmer? I found myself disappearing fully into each character as they switched narration from chapter to chapter. I felt determined to find a cure to their sorrows. Full of vivid, raw, cruel and tragic accounts mixed with some unspeakable horrors that will make this novel unforgettably haunting. I think if you loved A Thousand Splendid Suns I think you would really appreciate this story.

  • Ramona
    2019-04-22 21:25

    How to rate a book that I think I despised, yet also could not abandon. 1 star is indecent; yet 5 stars is scandalous to give to a book which provided me no pleasure. Rani Manicka’s dark, complicated, and violent first novel, The Rice Mother, tells the story of a family living in 20th century Malaysia. Lakshmi, the “rice mother”, gives birth to 6 children by age 19. She is both chillingly fierce and sacrificially loving. Her children lead tragic, sordid, perverse lives after witnessing the savage brutality of the Japanese occupation during WW2. The novel leaves the reader with a spiritual, emotional and psychological poverty. Is there no one to redeem the characters’ abusive and distorted attempts to love each other? Will no one speak the truth to Lakshmi and her progeny that authentic love desires the person’s good? Perhaps I find this novel so disquieting because I come from the Christian paradigm of a love which mirrors God’s love. There was not a single “act of love” in The Rice Mother which was not destructive. Perhaps, however, in an act of hope, Nisha, Lakshmi’s great-granddaughter, will discover the Truth about love, so magnificently expressed by Pope Benedict16 in the encyclical Deus Caritas Est: "Love is indeed “ecstasy”, not in the sense of a moment of intoxication, but rather as a journey, an ongoing exodus out of the closed inward-looking self towards its liberation through self-giving, and thus towards authentic self-discovery and indeed the discovery of God."

  • Sumita
    2019-05-11 17:11

    I picked this from the library just for fun, as i enjoy Indian readers -and never expected it to move me the way it did.Superbly poignant. Being malaysian with similar ancestral history, it was like reading something about my own past - bits and pieces of memories of hearing similar things from the older generations.This book really moved me beyond my imagination and experience. i'm still so overwhelmed.It has been some time since something caught hold of me the way this book did, i'm still reeling from mohini's death and can't seem to get over it.. as if in real life. Rani Manicka, you have truly touched me deeper then any other author has ever gone. i salute you beyond stars and am so proud a fellow malaysian has made me feel this way. truly a job SUPERBLY done. BUT, two plots that i wish was better:1. jayanth's wife not being able to accept him through 2 children just for his looks - seems a little odd. People move on and this seemed a little silly..2. i have to add i wish the ending was something better - It made me nauseas towards the end with Dimple's part of the story - it could have ended better.. Dimple should not have died from opium overdose just like that.. doesn't mould well for the story.But i loved it anyway...

  • Coleen Cloete
    2019-04-24 00:05

    Words cannot even begin to describe how much I loved this book. Rani Manicka takes you on a journey like no other. When a book makes you think of how you live, how you love and how you treat the ones you love it surpass any possible expectations. You cannot help but stop and reread sentences as it is poetic in its language but harsh in its statements. My exposure to the Hindu religion was very limited up to this point. Throughout the story you are being exposed to the wonderful tales of the different gods and how it interlinked with customs and tradition. This is one of those books that had a lasting and profound impact on me. I keep going back to certain scenes, passages and wonder about the fate of certain family members.An must read.

  • IoanaTheodora
    2019-04-24 23:17

    O carte emoționantă țesută minuțios,magic și complex în jurul Lakshamei ,zeiței orezului ,o femeie puternică care prin personalitatea și deciziile sale influentează viețile celor din jurul său ,cu implicații adânci în destinul copiilor săi și în generațiile următoare .Romanul este construit deosebit prin povestea plină de sentimente,trăiri,frustrări a fiecărui membru din familia Zeiței ,cu referiri la relațiile familiale ,la realitățile sociale din Malaysia secolului XX împletite cu credințe și ritualuri magice . O carte foarte frumoasa ! "Fiecare familie e nefericită în felul ei ."

  • Marie80
    2019-04-23 23:16

    Па да, се додека не стигнете до самиот крај нема да ви биде јасно зошто еден раскажува вака а друг па онака!Клопчето се размотува дури на крајот, со Ниша!!!

  • Lakshmi Mohan
    2019-04-22 00:20

    A lengthy novel. Interesting to read, though at the end I skimmed through pages because it was actually very long. Set in Malaysia, it gives an insight into the culture and traditions of the place. The story is good, emotions are portrayed beautifully but I kept looking for a happy ending to the book. Maybe real life stories don't have happy endings.

  • Meg
    2019-05-14 20:25

    This book was probably on my shelf for 15 years. Thinking I was never going to read it, I put it in a box to give away. But at the last minute I decided to save it and I'm glad I did. A good read - 3.5 stars