Five Sons & A Hundred Muri of Rice – Sharyn Steel

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Chosen by Jodie

The true life story of Kharika Devkota, a five-year-old bride in rural Nepal.

➽ “Five Sons and a Muri of Rice gives the reader a real glimpse into the lives rural Nepalise woman lead. The story spans the life of Kharika, a 5-year-old bride right through to a 90 year old. A lot of years to cover in one book! The life Kharika was handed is unimaginable – to be dropped into another life as a 5 year old is so incredibly cruel. Kharika suffered much hardship both physically and mentally and this was the incredible  story of her resilience and strength. The authors gave us a real insight into the moral issues surrounding child marriage and the prejudices Nepalise woman face every day. They did a great job getting the story on paper but I feel they could has eased up on the content and given the story a little more flair.” – Jodie
➽ “Five Sons And A 100 Muri of Rice was a book I really enjoyed because of the insight it gave me. I found the story of the main character’s life as a five-year-old bride in rural Nepal thoroughly fascinating. It was humbling, fascinating and illuminating, even if the writing style was at times simple. I especially enjoyed the first half of the book which followed the early years of her life as a struggling bride, abused wife and mother. Such harsh times this woman endured, with a strength and grace we must admire! My hesitation in recommending this book to others would be that it seemed to at times uncomfortably straddle fact and fiction, and as narrated through an interpretor, the character’s family and the author. What really happenned, and what was an interpretation of what happened? I also felt that the second half of the book became a bit dull and matter of fact, failing to keep me connected emotionally.” – Sonya

➽ “While the subject matter of this book is extraordinary and quite an education, I felt the story had been done a disservice by the authors. The text is more a literal translation of what Kharika has said rather than a shaping of the information into something more affecting. Kharika’s story is incredible and worth knowing but I did struggle with the simple and at time’s waffly narration. I know many other books which detail stories half as incredible but are more powerful due to the author’s talents. For me, the highlight of our discussions was Jodie’s research and perspective on the subject matter as someone who has spent time in Nepal.” – Rachel

➽ “The woman at the centre of this semi biographical book is extraordinary – she has lived an incredible life filled with poverty, hardship, violence and loss. This book certainly provided a very interesting education into rural Nepalese life, a life for Kharika that is shadowed by sexist and oppressive customs. Women are second class citizens and although they seem to carry out most of the heavy work as well as running the home and looking after the children, daughters are largely regarded as burdens. One of the most disturbing parts of this book for me was Kharika’s marriage when she was left with complete strangers at the age of five. The book did plod along at times and seemed more like a record of her life which was quite repetitive at times – an opportunity lost to make the most of telling this amazing story.” – Jo

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Published 2014
Paua Publishing
428 pages

 

 

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