by Kamala Markandava (read August 2006) Rating 3.5/5
My mother and my nephew both recommended this novel about a peasant woman from a small village in India and her life of constant struggles. Even though it's a moving story and Rukmani's like was substantial, I didn't feel like the telling of her story was substantial. One instance is the relationship between Rukmani and the village doctor who came and went for whatever reasons. There was something about that relationship that Rukmani kept secret from her husband, and the author keeps it a secret from the reader. Did Rukman have forbidden feelings of attraction to him or was he the father of her sons? Who knows?
The characters were not fully fleshed out either. The people we were suppose to care about lacked substance. With the exception of Rukmani's husband, the rest of her family were barely names on a page. The whole book centers on Rukmani's struggles with her hard life, but from the time she is 12-yrs-old until she is an old woman, we know little of the characters in that life.
Maybe I was expecting more and because of that missed the good that was there. This is a book that could have been excellent, but it left me lacking and unsatisfied.