About the author:
Judy Balan quit her job in advertising to become a full-time writer and stay-at-home parent. She writes romantic comedy, with more of the latter. She is currently a freelance writer who is also involved in theatre, and an avid blogger as well. This is her debut book.
Impressions from the cover:
The cover is quite humorous, with the cartoons indicating of the unhappy couple and the families trying to tie them together. Also puts in a touch with regards to the family backgrounds.
Impressions from the blurb:
The title and the blurb together puts this like a parody of Chetan Bhagat’s novel, Two States which is a story of marriage between North Indian guy and a South Indian girl. It’s going to be interesting to see how this unfolds.
To give a gist of the story, it begins at the office of a psychologist and we see that she’s having a patient, from IIT and he’s the fifth one from there that she’s had in that week. He’s going through marriage problems and wants to separate from his wife, but his parents have sent him to her, so that she can analyze his mind and convince him otherwise. In a role-reversal, the doctor becomes the speaker and she tells the patient the story of her divorce. We are taken back in time, and introduced to Deepika (our psychologist narrator) and her husband Rish. She’s Tamilian and he’s a Punjabi. Having fallen in love and got married with pomp and fervor four years back, the tides have changed and they are on the brink of a separation. However, after so many years of adjustment, their families have now bonded to the extent that they are inseparable, and feel Deepika and Rish are the perfect couple and role models to others. The tale after is their story, and I’ll leave you to read it.
So what do I like about it? I like the concept. You take a nice novel and touch the opposite of that; which is pretty much what Judy has done. The idea needed humor, not so much that you be in stitches reading it but enough to give you a smile and make you enjoy reading it. And the story had that much humor in it for sure. The characters of the protagonists are nice. They’re casual people, not serious minded, and have this tendency to pull each other’s leg and be sarcastic. The language isn’t hi-fi at all, it’s easily understandable and it helps the story move along at a good pace, not dreary or anything like that. But first things first, I liked the cover design which portrays that humor very aptly.
So what did I feel could have helped it be that tad better? The divorce needed a reason; or rather it needed it a little more prominently mentioned. With Deepika and Rish being shown as sensible people and a couple who are respected by their younger relatives at that, the separation without a prominent reason felt unrealistic. The trip to Britain to finalize how to tell their parents about the separation, and that too being pushed there on a second honeymoon by their families felt unrealistic as well. I know this is fiction, but even extreme fiction needs a little believability. I could skip a few pages in between and still keep the flow of the novel.
Overall, I feel this is a good read, best suited for reading while traveling.
Title: Two Fates – The Story of My Divorce
Author: Judy Balan
Genre: Humor / Romance
Publishers: Westland Books
Price: INR. 150
(May 31st, 2013)