The Japanese Lover

Rani Manicka, Hodder & Stoughton (IPG, dist.), $9.99 mass market (328p) ISBN 978-1-444700-33-6
Bestseller Manicka (The Rice Mother) spins an epic tale of love, loss, and cosmic destiny in her gripping and eloquent third novel, set against the lush backdrop of Malaya throughout the political and cultural turmoil of the 20th century. Prophesied at birth to have a wealthy but disastrous marriage, Parvathi, a poor Ceylonese girl, is married to a powerful man who despises her; she survives life in his house by devoting herself to her children, to a kindly servant, and to Maya, a powerful healer. When Japanese soldiers invade during WWII, she experiences love and passion for the first time in the arms of a commanding officer named Hattori. Manicka's lush, subtle, and arresting story stands out for its unforgettable characters and its emphasis on familial love and friendship as equally (if not more) important than romantic love; indeed, to call this a romance would be misleading. Unfortunately, this otherwise engrossing work is marred by intrusive New Age spirituality, often turning Maya into little more than a mouthpiece, and a glossing over of Japanese war crimes in Malaysia. (Feb.)
Reviewed on: 01/24/2011
Release date: 11/01/2010
Genre: Fiction
Paperback - 326 pages - 978-1-4447-0031-2
Paperback - 448 pages - 978-1-4447-0032-9
Open Ebook - 300 pages - 978-1-84894-611-8
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