Nectar in a Sieve

Nectar in a Sieve

3.9 63
by Kamala Markandaya
     
 

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This beautiful and eloquent story tells of a simple peasant woman in a primitive village in India whose whole life is a gallant and persistent battle to care for those she loves-an unforgettable novel that "will wring your heart out" (Associated Press).

Overview

This beautiful and eloquent story tells of a simple peasant woman in a primitive village in India whose whole life is a gallant and persistent battle to care for those she loves-an unforgettable novel that "will wring your heart out" (Associated Press).

Editorial Reviews

Comparable in many ways to Cry, the Beloved Country...if anything...better.
Saturday Evening Post
Comparable in many ways to Cry, the Beloved Country...if anything...better.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780451531728
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
12/07/2010
Pages:
224
Sales rank:
75,048
Product dimensions:
4.10(w) x 6.70(h) x 0.50(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

Meet the Author

Kamala Markandaya was the pen name of Kamala Purnaiya Taylor, who was born in Bangalore, India in 1924 and died in England in 2004. Her family was Brahman, the highest caste in Hindu society. Markandaya made an effort to know not just the city in which she lived but also India's rural areas. She was educated at the University of Madras in Chennai, India, and worked briefly for a weekly newspaper before emigrating to England in 1948. There she met her husband, with whom she lived in London. While Markandaya made England her home, she made many visits to India over the years to stay in touch with her culture and to find inspiration and ideas for her fiction.

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Nectar in a Sieve 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 63 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Nectar In a Sieve by Kamala Markandaya is an extremely interesting novel illustrating the struggles an Indian woman faces as she endures the changes white men bring to her small village. The author shows readers how Western industrialization and modernization greatly affected the lives of Indian civilians throughout the twenthieth century. The main character, Rukmani, witnesses her home transform from a connected, reliable, and enjoyable place to one where foreign ideas pollute the society and corrupt the minds and hearts of many. Through her struggles, Rukmani works hard to maintain hope for her family and remains supportive of the decisions made around her. Kamala Markandaya uses Rukmani to effectively portray the hardships imposed on Indians when the Westerners began implementing their own improvements. She preceisly depicts the changing perspectives and ways of life for people of India while white men transformed their society. After reading this revealing and heartfelt novel, I was able to see the true impact of Western influence in India. Kamala Markandaya creates many characters that help bring readers into the lives of struggling Indians in the twenthieth century. I recommend this novel to anyone who enjoys reading about one's strength despite adversity. Nectar in a Sieve is an excellent novel that depicts the many struggles and instances of happiness of Indian society.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Set in a small village in India, Kamala Markandaya's Nectar in a Sieve is a griping novel that tells a story of a woman's struggle to find happiness and her own inner strength in a changing India. Markandaya writes a very real tale of a 12 year old girl, Rukmani, through all her troubles until her last days. The author explains through Rukmani, the toils and tribulations struggling famillies in India faced. Shes goes in depth at some points in the novel, to the point where you have to drag through pages, but other than a few extra details this novel is very well written. All in all, this was a wonderful read. The book was very detailed and made you feel like you actually knew Rukmanni. Nectar in a Sieve is such an eye opener to the world around us. I enjoyed reading about the Indian culture, how ever rough and different it may be from ours. I'd recommend this novel to anyone in middle school or older. We can always learn something new about ourselves and other through any literature at any time in our lives.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I jad to read this for school. I got a good grade on the test because the book is very well written and fairly easy to follow. Rukmani and Nathan suffer many hard times. Through a monsoon, drought, loss of family members and their life in thecity, they manage to maintain hope. I highly recommend this book!
Read_A_Book More than 1 year ago
This is an absolutely beautiful novel that I’ve now read eight times, and I love it more with each reading. Markandaya really has a way with words, painting a vivid picture of what life is like in rural India, how wealth is decided by the season and weather, and how everything can be lost in an instant. In this circular novel, Rukmani tells her life story, beginning with a dream, then delving deep into the past, tracing her life from childhood to present, causing the reader to rejoice and cry alongside her as she reveals all in this heartbreaking yet triumphant novel. Having married young and leaving her family behind, Rukmani learns what it means to be the woman of the house, working the soil alongside her husband, praying for sons, and caring for those around her. Coming from wealth, her life is not what she expected, but her easy demeanor and good nature cause her never a grumble, making her a lovable character that the reader easily connects with, though we may never experience all the triumphs or tribulations that Ruku does. The fact that the story is so poignant and easy to follow, let alone interesting and intriguing, makes for a fast read, and though Rukmani’s life is so vastly different from my own, I can’t help but look up to her. She experiences vast heartache, but always comes back strong, making her twice the woman I am… The truths Markandaya presents in this novel are absolutely amazing and learning about Ruku’s culture, her way of life, her happiness, and her sadness really presses upon me the importance of living each day to the fullest and focusing on the good in life, as Ruku does. I find that this is a very powerful novel and I strongly believe that all should read it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
A beautiful young woman, married to a poor hopeless farmer with no choice of her own. Her parent chose this life for her and now she has to live life hour by hour, day by day and every minute of it she is regretting living. Never knowing when she will be able to eat or when she will be able see her children. She is living a life in hope that she will someday become the woman she has always dreamt about, or she is hoping that she might not have to live at all. Married to a farmer by age 12 she knew that she was not going to like her life. She would have to work on a farm with her husband and hope that she would be able to feed her family, if not herself. This farm is filled with bad memories that she would have to live with for the rest of her life. Not only was this hardship bad enough but her but the farm she and her husband owns has dry unfertile soil that is horrible for growing crops. This farm will also endure a life of hardship. Having to survive (if that is what you would call it) the droughts monsoons, and insects.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Oh the joy of finding such a book. So very beautiful. Beautifully written. A unforgetable love story an inspirational heroine. Best book in a long time So sad. The author died long ago.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
alexphilAU More than 1 year ago
Nectar in a Sieve is an Indian family story that is culturally and socially sound. It is a beautiful story of a family that went through a lot in their life. I find the Indian culture richly interwoven with the events of the story that involves a family grappling with survival in a setting that is immensely povertous. The struggle of each family member is one that shook heaven and earth in the story. Its beginning is beautiful until the events come one after the other in the story that lead the family to be in complete solidarity. This is a must read for those interested in Indian culture and family relationship.
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Kamala Markandaya's character Rukmani describes her life from a little girl to an elderly grandmother in Nectar in a Sieve. From her early life, she knew that the conditions that most directly effected her life were changing. She was not given a grand, lavish wedding when she was 12 years old like her sisters were because their father, the village headman, was losing his power to the new British authority. The village she lived in with her husband was quickly over taken by more white men and changed into a thriving town complete with a tannery and new houses for the multitude of workers needed to run it. Only after money and land, these men refused to help during the droughts and flooding caused by monsoon rains that brought starvation into Rukmani's family of her husband, six sons and one daughter. She is a rebel against this change. She does not and will not ever accept it. She sees the violence, corruption, and unfairness brought by these newcomers who speak to the Indians as if they are inferior. The industrialization they bring to her village greatly displeases her. Prices of market items are driven up, land is taken from people to be made into a factory or houses for its workers, and laborers in search of a job crowd into the new town, as well as beggers, harlots, and hooligans. The starvation brought on by the monsoon winds and the state of the village after the white men come leads Rukmani to take extreme steps to care for her family. I think that she has a great sense of ownership and love towards her family that made her strong during her hardships. The duty she felt towards them made her keep fighting for what she believed was right. She did everything in her power to keep providing food for them, to educate them, to nurture them, and to give them a solid foundation for the rest of their lives. Between saving for a grand wedding for Ira, allowing her two sons to chase their dreams of a content life by leaving the village, and going hungry so her family could eat, Rukmani was an advocate for strength and is a character created by Markandaya to inspire others to fight through adversity. However, Rukmani's strength comes from and is applied in strange places. She believes that a woman's place is next to a husband. She allows Ira to prostitute herself on the streets, using her beautiful body as a tool to earn money. She submits to the will of Kenny because he is a white man and to Nathan because he is her husband. Her strength is applied to her family, but not to herself. She allows herself to be ordered around and scolded by Nathan and called ignorant and stupid by Kenny without putting up a fight. She is a strong parent and a strong promoter of her beliefs, but not strong as a woman. Also, the reasons behind her fight to feed her family and to have money are often that she cares what her neighbors will think of her. She is afraid of what people in the town will think of her and her family if they can not eat, if her sons do not go back to work at the tannery after they start a rebellion, and if Ira births a child out of prostitution. Not always does she do the things she does out of love and protection of her family, but for the keeping up of their appearance. Because of this, I think Markandaya does a fair job of accomplishing the purpose of inspiring strength in her readers. Rukmani does whatever is necessary to fend for her family, but not always for the right reasons or to the right causes.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
Nectar in a Sieve tells the tale of a village woman that has suffered a lot throughout her life. Kamala Markandaya, the author of Nectar in a Sieve, purpose for writing Nectar in a Sieve is to explain the life of a woman whose village is under the control Britain in the mid 1900s and the devastating life that a woman would have to lead. Rukmani is the main character of the story, and she experienced the death of many of her sons and watched her daughter go into the field of prostitution to support the family. Rumors spread around the village that Rukmani was having an affair with Kenny, the village doctor, and force Rukmani to become angry with one of her neighbors. Markandaya completes her intention for writing the novel by explaining the life difficulties that Rukmani had to experience. Overall, I would recommend this book. It explains how the way of life today is utterly different from how life was back in the mid 1900s. People today need to know realize who different life is today. If they do not start to comprehend the differences, then society will always have corruption within it, and that would not be good for the human race. I would also recommend the novel because it tells of a strong woman that stood up for what she thought was right. Girls today should have a female figure in history that they can look up to as a mentor, whether that woman is fiction or not.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Nectar in a Sieve by Kamala Markandaya is the saddest book I have ever read. This book could probably put many people into tears. The writer did an excellent job of letting you know what the characters were going through. Nectar in a Sieve is the story of a strong woman trying to just survive in a little town in India. Rukmani, the main character, lives in a small hut on some farmland close to a very small village. Rukmani is married to a man named Nathan and has several children. Rukmani and her family go through many different struggles just to have something to eat. Nectar in a Sieve is very touching and I could imagine being one of the characters. The pain of Rukmani and her family is something that most people never have to deal with in their whole lives. People that I know take their food for granted and sometimes won¿t even eat it all. This wasn¿t even an option in Nectar in a Sieve. You finished what you received and you were usually unsatisfied.