Rukmani doesn't allow the hardships in her life to destroy her. The love she has for her chidren, her friends, and her husband provide her with the strength to never wallow in self-pity. Rukmani loves her family most of all. When Ira becomes a prostitute, Rukmani doesn't love her any less for it.
Rukmani even finds beauty in the farming way of life. It is difficult and never provides completely for the family, but the land is a source of beauty and perfection for Rukmani. The farm represents hope because it provides the family with the security of having a place to live. They don't have to wander from place to place to find work.
The novel ends tragically with Nathan's death, but Rukmani is able to return to her village and to her children. She realizes that the love of her family makes her rich and that with her family surrounding her, she will survive without Nathan.