There is nothing new about this storyline. Abuse, addictions, war, loss, nasty family dynamics are all portrayed in The Rice Mother by Rani Manicka. This is a story about four generations of a family in Malaysia with the matriarch at the center of the plot for the majority of the book. The narrator eventually switches to other members of the family. This is a very long book that unfortunately never grabbed me. Additionally, sadly the real action does not occur until seventy-five pages till the book's end. Many parts of this book were confusing and lacking the details to clarify the storyline. The author was too descriptive of the environment, hindering the plot advancement and again failing to illuminate the subtle details, which pulls together the mysteries of the story. I found the pace frustratingly slow. There were so many voices that it often felt disjointed. Finally, the characters were one-dimensional. Better family sagas include, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, The Glass Castle, A Thousand Splendid Suns, The Namesake, Dreams of Joy, Bastard Out of Carolina.
My next book is J.K. Rowling's The Casual Vacancy. Although the reviews have been poor and the friend that let me borrow her book only read the first few hundred pages, I am looking forward to diving in and seeing what I think. I will let you all know!