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4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)

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First Sentence
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 forests. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars Metaphor Mayhem Nov. 17 2003
By A Customer
This book has little to recommend it. The characters are cliched and Manicka lacks subtlety in the way she develops them. The story line is contrived and implausible from the beginning and doesn't improve.(Impoverished young girl tricked into marrying a supposedly wealthy man, taken far away before she realises the deception. Lucky for her though, despite her childhood poverty (oh yes, and the fact that she tells us on page 30 that she is trapped in the new marriage because she has no money of her own) she has actually secretly brought into the marriage a stash of precious gems she can sell off when things get really tough along life's pathway. This is just as well because things certainly do get tough -frequently). The devices Manicka uses are inept - eg, stories told retrospectively by different characters, some as children who amazingly remember more about the events than the adults who were actually involved - and their stories in places are boringly repetitive. The editors must have been having a holiday. The prose is saccharin and the metaphors are simply awful, so bad that I caught myself having a quiet chuckle in places that I think were meant to be quite tragic. By the half way mark I found it hard to keep ploughing through, but kept it up just to see if the next metaphor could out do the one before. I saw a review that compared this book to Kingsolver's Poisonwood Bible. Lovers of that wonderful book, please don't be taken in. They are both books, and there any similarity ends.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Breathtaking July 25 2003
The Rice Mother is not a book, it is an experience. Structured in a style reminiscent of Barbara Kingsolver's bestselling The Poisonwood Bible, Manicka takes the reader on a journey through times and cultures and contexts that, though foreign, become heartbreakingly familiar. The only drawback to this book is that Manicka's detailed family portrait, which begins before World War II and ends with the present, will make your own life and family insignificant for the duration of your read. Happily, no one will suffer for very long because the pace of her prose is such that pages turn quickly. When I put this book down, it was with a bittersweet sigh of sorrow over having to say goodbye to characters who will live in my head for a very long time to come.
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4.0 out of 5 stars * I WONT BE ABLE TO DO IT JUSTICE * June 26 2003
I am NOT a writer so bear with my lack of talent when it comes to wriiting reviews,
I wont be able to do the book justice that it deserves.

Take it for granted that, if you buy this book, you should only begin it when you have an available sick day coming..... youll be up all night reading it........literally !
As the editors have accuratly stated, if you love Esquival, Tan, Hoffman, or Allende, ( etc etc) then youre going to ADORE Manicka. This is her first novel and beleive me, she ranks up there with the best.....
excellant read

*(multi generational novel that begins with a young teen being married off in Ceylon.........)
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great Sept. 15 2003
By A Customer
This book is excellent. I would re-read certain sections, not because I got "lost", but because the way she writes conveys so much meaning in a single sentance. Some of the parts are very sad, and I have been avoiding these kinds of stories lateley, but this was bearable. The following of the family really works.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Book Aug. 29 2003
By A Customer
This is a book that will help you think more about your family, those who are alive and those who pass away.It will remind you of how important those people to us. And then you will say how lucky we are to have known them.
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