Nectar in a Sieve

Posted by Cassandra

Today, I was finally able to start on my list of books I've wanted to read for awhile.

First up was "Nectar in a Sieve" by Kamala Markandaya. When I first picked it up off the shelf, I was intruiged, but I noticed it was published years ago, and was a bit nervous, because I have a hard time following older books like that. I'm so glad I decided to follow through a read it. So far, I absolutely love it, and I open it up everytime I have a spare second. The story is reminiscent of Pearl Buck's "The Good Earth", the struggles of a farmer, but while Buck's novel is from Wang Lung's (the farmer) point of view, in a poor Chinese village, "Nectar in a Sieve" is from the view of Rukmani, the poor farmer's wife, in rural India.

I'm excited to be reading both novels at the same time, I'm reading "The Good Earth" for Literature, and "Nectar in a Sieve" for pleasure, so I can compare and contrast the main points of both storylines. So far, I've noticed several parallels in how the wives were treated, and how they were expected to bear as many children as possible, emphasis on boy children, even if it kills them. I've learned that wives were easily replaced, but children were hard to come by. Wang Lung (The Good Earth) isn't exactly nice to O-Lan, but isn't mean either. Nathan, (Nectar in a Sieve) on the oth
er hand, is sweet, and shows it to Rukmani, and I instantly took a liking to him.

I'm not very far, about eight chapters, but I look forward to finishing this classic, and walking away more knowledgable about the struggles of a poor tenant farmer in India.

Another book, not on my list, but it caught my eye, "Bloodrights" by N. Lee Woods. I was looking for a romantic novel set in the times of kings and queens, and the first few sentences

"The lizard was restive, tiny nails prickling as it nestled in her shirt for warmth. She grimaced, her hand pressing its bony shape into the hollow between her breasts. "Settle down," she mumurmed. It protested, but stopped struggling. Its sticky tongue licked at the salt on her skin in forlorn hunger."
caught me, and kept me, until I closed the book after the final page. Although Amazon doesn't have a very high rating for it, I absolutely devoured it! It made me cry, it made me laugh, and it made me want to throw the book at the wall because things weren't working out the way I thought they should. The ending was very satisfying, and the character descriptions brought the characters to life, so much that I could see them prowling around my eyelids when I went to sleep. I had dreams about the characters, and I cringed when I woke up. There is so much going on in the story, if Antonya, the main character, doesn't keep your attention, other characters are sure to. And unlike other books, this discusses other characters, even though they aren't the main characters, and gives you a sense of how they interact with others.
I'm not Amazon, but personally, I think its recomended reading for any fantasy/history/romance buff, like myself.

This entry was posted on Mar 3, 2010 at 5:20 PM . You can follow any responses to this entry through the comments feed .

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