The Rice Mother – Rani Manicka

“The desert wants the rain so it may be refreshed, sweetened and admired but the desert needs the sun to know it is a desert. Your mother was the rain in your father’s life but I was the sun. She made him look beautiful and brought out the best in him, but he needed me. Anyway, he knew where to find me.” -The Rice Mother, page 556

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.

2 thoughts on “The Rice Mother – Rani Manicka”

  1. I started reading The Rice Mother about 3 years ago and I was amazed by Rani’s techique of woving a variety of themes into her novel. Reading through it makes you feel as though you have known Lakhsmi for years… I am still haunted by it and now that I’m lonely in Auckland, I went to the library and found the book and read it again, just finished today! Have you read Touching Earth? It’s a marvel too! But I left in the care of my lecturer in Malaysia…

  2. It is so wonderful to read a book this good, I longed for it to end so that I would know everything about these wonderful people, each flawed but everyone filled with regret. It takes you completely into theire lives and I absolutely felt like one of the family. Of course now that I have finished it (five minutes ago) I wish I could read it all over again for the first time. I googled “The Rain Mother” hoping to find out more, now I will google “Rani Manicka” to find out if she has any other great books out. Funny to name the most horrible character after herself. Maybe that way she can be sure that no distant relative or friend can be insulted.

    My favorite qoute from it is: ” Cut your cloth to suit your means”

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