Customer Reviews for

Nectar in a Sieve

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 3, 2007

    Not a masterpiece, but worth the time

    When I was given this book to read for a school assignment, I didn¿t know whether to be excited or disappointed. The book looked interesting, but I didn¿t know whether it just looked good, or was very boring with little life in it. While the book is a little dry in places, I enjoyed all the way. The way that Rukmani, the main character, still clings to hope after misfortune after misfortune is just a good read. The story begins in the 1930¿s-1940¿s with a twelve year old Rukmani, an Indian girl whose father is a village chieftain. She gets married off to Nathan, a poor rice farmer in a far away village. After growing up in relative luxury, the sudden change is drastic and shaking. Soon, she adapts and makes friends with the village women, except for Kunthi, a beautiful snob. She also meets Kenny, a European doctor sent to the village to provide relief and medical care when possible. At first, Rukmani cannot conceive a child, but she secretly visits Kenny, who improves her fertility, and she bears a daughter named Ira. After years of working, and several sons later, the village is hit with a massive drought and the crops fail. With a large family to support, their food stocks go to an all time low. With everyone in the village starving, Kunthi, hoping to regain her lost beauty, visits Rukmani and asks for rice, or she will tell Nathan that she visited Kenny. After many days of famine, Rukmani¿s infant Kuti dies. Ira becomes a prostitute, and Rukmani¿s sons go off in search of jobs. Soon, Nathan¿s employer sells the land to another, and Rukmani and her husband must leave town to find a son. After many miles of harsh traveling conditions, they enter a large city, and try to adjust to life there. They are pick pocketed, stolen from, and driven to near starvation looking for a son they might never find. Kamala Markandaya really came through here. Instead of a dull, plodding book, I found a book that is full of happiness, sadness, and hope that I haven¿t read in a book yet. When I first got the book, I thought it would be a dumb educational book about India. Once I started reading, my mind changed. It certainly kept me entertained. While entertaining, I also learned a bit about Indian culture. A girl of twelve can get married, rice is one of the main crops of India, and there are a plethora of Indian words used frequently in the book, all defined in the back of the book. Anyone who enjoys reading about the life of a family in poverty, life in India, or just wants something to do for a few hours should definitely pick up this book. Though it¿s by no means a masterpiece, it is definitely worth the time and couple of bucks to read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 4, 2007


    The book is about a young girl by the name of Rukmani who is married at a very young age to a farmer boy by the name of Nathan. This poor young girl had to work day after day in the field with her husband in order to star alive in the harsh times. What made this difficult was the fact that the land was going through a drought, monsoons, and always the problem of insects. The life she was about to live would never get any more simple. She was such a young child, and yet was almost forced to give birth because it was almost needed by a man to bare children. Of course, she was very scared and worried that this horrid lifestyle would not work, but her husband Nathan was always by her side to calm her down. After about a year she gives birth to her first child, Ira. She is amazed by the beauty of the child because her and Nathan are not the two greatest looking people. At first things start going good with the crop and everything, until a monsoon destroys it. Even though Nathan and her lived in poverty, they bore five more sons after Ira, giving them less and less food to eat. Ira eventually marries just as her mother had to a husband that would eventually leave her because she could not conceive just like her mother was unable too

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 16, 2006

    Overall good story.

    Nectar in a Sieve, by Kamala Markandaya, is about a young woman named Rukmani living in India during the 1930s and 1940s. The story is told by Rukmani as if she were writing a journal of her life. At only twelve, Rukmani is married off to a poor farmer living in a mud hut several villages away from her family. She tells you about her new family and their life of poverty. There are many ups and downs in the story that you can, to some extent, relate to. This insightful young woman has so much courage, strength, and hope that it is inspiring to people of all ages. However, it took me the whole novel to realize that. I did not enjoy reading it because it had a very monotonous and boring tone to it. But when I got to the end, I was able to reflect on the story as a whole and appreciate it. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who likes this type of genre, but to those who don¿t, it¿s all up to whether or not you are willing to wait for the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 12, 2004


    i thought the book was ok, i personally did not love it. i read it for school. i thought it was a little confusing, but i would recommend it to anyone whoo likes to read biographies.

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    Posted December 9, 2009

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    Posted May 27, 2009

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    Posted October 17, 2009

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