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Rice without Rain Hardcover – May 28, 1990


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: HarperTeen; 1st edition (May 28, 1990)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0688063551
  • ISBN-13: 978-0688063559
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.9 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,923,133 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Seventeen-year-old Jinda's life is irrevocably changed when Ned and three other students from Bangkok visit her village. Inthorn, Jinda's father and the village headman, listens to Ned and resists paying the usurious land rents. Inthorn is jailed and eventually dies in prison; Jinda journeys to Bangkok to take part in student rallies for the farmers. Love interest is provided by the growing mutual infatuation of Ned and Jinda, sensitively and realistically handled. The main characters are especially well-drawn, although the others are stereotypes or, at worst, mere ciphers--the mother of one of the students is particularly offensive. A tad too predictable and polemically quite heavyhanded, Ho's novel nonetheless gives an interesting and at times absorbing glimpse of class struggle in the Thailand of the 1970s. Village scenes are especially effective evocations of simple beauty and somnolence. Not a masterpiece, but a novel from an author to watch. --John Philbrook, San Francisco Public Library
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc.

About the Author

In Her Own Words...

"I grew up on the outskirts of Bangkok, Thailand. Home was an airy house next to a fishpond and a big garden, with rice fields, where water buffalo wallowed in mudholes, on the other side of the palm trees. I liked the usual things--eating roasted coconuts and fried bananas, chasing catfish in the grass in the rain.

"Although I write in English, my first language was Chinese. Because my parents are from China, they praised me, scolded me, told me long bedtime stories, and recited poetry to me all in Chinese. No wonder, then, that I think of Chinese as the language of my heart. As I grew older, I absorbed Thai from interacting with people in the busy streets and marketplaces and temple fairs of Bangkok. Thai for me is a functional language, and I think of it as the language of my hands. Only much later did I team English from strict teachers in school, and so I think of English as the language of my head.

"I started to write only after I left home, as a way to conjure up Thailand for myself, to combat homesickness white Studying at Cornell University. There was a greenhouse on campus with a single potted banana tree in it. During my first winter, I used to sit near that tree and imagine that I was home. Soon, however, I realized that words could evoke images of home even more effectively than the banana tree, and I began to write down notes about the things I missed. My first book, Sing to the Dawn (1975), grew naturally out of those notes.

"I met my husband, John Dennis, at an antiwar demonstration while we were both students at Cornett. In 1976, six years and more than three hundred letters later, we were married. It took a Catholic church wedding and a Chinese tea ceremony (both in Singapore) and a Buddhist wrist-binding ritual (in a Thai village) to satisfy our families and friends.

"I am lucky that John has learned fluent Thai and some Chinese, and that his work often takes us to Asia. Our three children--Danfung, Mei-Mei, and Chris-have had a chance to live in Thailand, Laos, and Singapore, so they have experienced many of the sounds and sights that I did as a child. Like me, and I hope like many children today, they are growing up comfortable with a blend of several cultures and languages."


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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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This book was the most amazing book I've ever read, it studies the trial and tragedies of a young Thai girl.
Stephanie
The main character and our heroine, Jinda, is a very simple, good natured young woman, and warms the hearts of all readers with her innocent naivete.
"aredcrayonbox"
I am an avid reader and rarely read books twice, but this book is DEFINATELY one to have in the home and to be reread and memorized.
kimsv

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Stephanie on December 22, 2000
Format: Hardcover
This book was the most amazing book I've ever read, it studies the trial and tragedies of a young Thai girl. At first she sees the world as flat, they always do something because that's the way they always do it, but when she meets the university students who come to study her village, the world becomes round to her. One of the great parts of the book is when her father is thrown in jail, the authors writing is so spirited that you can feel Jinda's (the main characters) anger and desparation. When she visits her father in prision tears sprang to my eyes, it's just that the author's writing is so amazing it takes you right to Bankok with the characters. The description is marvelous, the writing is timeless, and the story is amazing. Rice Without Rain will remain in my heart and my mind forever.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By "aredcrayonbox" on November 5, 2001
Format: Hardcover
I thought Rice Without Rain was an absolutely spectacular book. A story that has love, war - what else could one want? RWR also brings the conflict in Thailand out into the public eye and has informed thousands about these violent periods in Thailand, of which the general population probably is vaguely aware of.
The main character and our heroine, Jinda, is a very simple, good natured young woman, and warms the hearts of all readers with her innocent naivete. The characters are so real in this novel, that they will stay for you months after. They have with me.
I personally would reccomend this piece to anyone. It has been the foundation of my newfound love for Asian literature.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 4, 1998
Format: Hardcover
"Rice without Rain" was a very down-to-earth and practical story.It discussed the key issues of poverty and unfairness towards farming communities.I was very emotionally touched by the life that Jinda went through as a result of all the revolutions and mental torture. She showed me that she was a strong character still very much in touch with her roots and that she treasured simple things in nature that city-dwellers like myself have come to take for granted---like rain.Indeed, in the last part of the story, as Jinda remembered all of the past, one could see that a new life was in the making.The rain was like healing water soothing the wounds of the land, curing all the suffering in the land.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 21, 1999
Format: Hardcover
Children of the River by Linda Crew, was a very good novel, but not since Rice With Rain have I had so much interest in reading a novel. I never thought that I would encounter another book as depressing as Children of the River, yet Rice Without Rain certainly was the one. The story was about Jinda Boonreung, a village thai girl, who goes through many struggles to free her father. She also seeks love and happiness from a city boy in Bangkok, Ned. Though they met and fell in love, they couldn't be together. What a ironic twist, huh!? To find out more about this ironic love story and what happened at the end, I'll recommend that you'll need to read this book.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 17, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Rice Without Rain is, in short, a beautiful story. Starting out as a traditional girl-meets-boy story, the book evolved into a page-turning, bitersweet tale as young Jinda is torn between two different and difficult paths. I felt heartbroken at the horrible hardships Jinda endured, but the end brought me a sense of hope, because rather than being able to fix the bad things that had happened Jinda faced the future with understanding, hope, and strength that she would not have gained without the troubles she went through in the book. I think Minfong Ho is an excelent writer, as she makes me feel that I am becoming Jinda rather than just reading about her. Keep several boxes of Kleenexes handy; but read Rice Without Rain-- it will intrest almost anyone, with touches of romance, horror, and drama. Lotus Hartman, age 13, Carthage, Missouri
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 15, 1999
Format: Hardcover
Jinda, a 17 yr old girl tries to save her father from prison with the help of a Bangkok student named Ned. They fall in love but end up separated after Jinda's father dies. She stayed in the village afterwards and Ned joined the Communist army to fight for his rights. Never seeing each other again, Jinda says farewell to her first love.
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Format: Hardcover
This book follows a young girl as their family deals with the revolutions in Thailand. Her father becomes a political prisoner and accused of being a communist. This book portrays every day life in Bangkok through the eyes of a little girl who tries to organize support her father. On top of this conflict, Thailand is going through a heavy drought which makes it difficult for her family to produce rice. Fantastic book.
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Format: Hardcover
Everything seems natural until some college students come into the village to convince the people that they are entitled to a better life. This creates alot of conflict between the rice growers and their landowners. Sacrifice and hardship ensue, but the second generation may very well reap some benefit. Monsoons - Rice Growing - Thailand.
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