Book Review: ‘Two Fates: The Story of My Divorce’ by Judy Balan

When I read the name of the book a few weeks ago on Flipkart’s list of Pre-Order books, I somehow found it interesting, and since it was for just Rs 105, I ordered the book right away.

Fast forward to December 1, when I got an email from office mail room saying there was a Flipkart for me and I should come and collect it (that’s what they wrote). While going, I suddenly realized it was the pre-ordered book (I still didn’t remember the name), and then after having scribbled something in the mail register I proceeded to remove the great Flipkart packing.

No, I am not a blurb reader, but those who did read the blurb in the office almost immediately queued themselves up for the copy. And then I had to make them read the absolute first page of the book, which I found interesting.

And then, through my busy schedule (you claim your schedule busy when you work Saturday, of course) I kept turning the pages of the book, which was happening quite fast and the book was over (with this schedule, surprisingly) in just two days.

That was the story of my well spent hundred and five rupees.

Yep. I did like the book. The beginning of the book was funny, and that again means the absolute first page which is Judy Balan’s introduction. After that, the first two acknowledgements made me a bit impatient and I simply moved to the last one, to find what I had expected. And then, the book started.

The Prologue was nice and made me think I was going to read yet another Chetan Bhagat novel. The first page of the first chapter, however, made me a little afraid that I was in for yet another round of the exact same things I had read in Two States. But thankfully, my fears never got realized.

No, not that the story or the way Judy tells the story here are different, but the book, simply is not what Chetan’s book was. It’s not the same two people that were there in that one, and then, the similarities are more the ones which make you laugh, than the ones which make up the real story of the book.

Now before my review goes completely haywire, here are the points that I noticed about the book.

  • It’s a page turner. Simple and entertaining.
  • In case you had any doubts even after the first one, here I say clearly, It’s funny. At least I found it so.
  • Characters of the book are interesting. Though Judy doesn’t describe them specially, their traits come out with the story going on. Liked that.
  • A few things (not many, really) are simply impossible to believe to have happened in reality, but they have been added to make things funny and mostly they pass.
  • Near the end things go a little too dramatic, but by the time you close the book, things are again mostly sane and real, so you don’t feel cheated, at least.
  • Overall, I totally liked the book, though it’s not something I’d read again, hopefully. Yet, I’d like to read the author’s next.

In short, Two Fates is something really good for a first novel and would not disappoint you if you like light reading. That’s all I have to say.

PS (with Spoiler alert): I do not think anyone who went to IIM may not know who O’Henry is. Hope I am right.

Author: Harshit

Madman. So-called Computer Engineer. Hindi Music Freak. Hindi Movie Buff. Thinker. Reader. Critic. Blogger. PJist. (bath)room Singer. Madman.

5 thoughts on “Book Review: ‘Two Fates: The Story of My Divorce’ by Judy Balan”

  1. I liked Two states by Chetan Bhagat (referred to as CB hereafter ) and it was only natural that I read this book too after I chanced upon it. I was browsing through an online book store and was intrigued by the synopsis. Pre-ordered the book right away and I am not regretting it.

    Two Fates continues two years after CB’s book. Since it is supposedly a continuation to CB’ss book Author takes liberty and assumes that readers have gone through it and hence does little on character development. Narrative is good and keeps you engaged until you reach at midpoint. First 100 pages of 199 page long story keeps you glued and interested. Somewhere after the half-way mark wit, sarcasm and the detailed narrative starts to get on your nerves. At two-third mark one actually starts counting pages till end. Narrative, naturally, is influenced by involvement of a one too many characters. Some characters are redundant and could have been done without. You might relate to some characters personally and a couple to your relatives. Like they say everyone has a duplicate.

    Witty sarcasm is all abound the story and is plenty. Central characters keep throwing regional sarcastic remarks throughout the story. Apparently, Judy Balan, the author has done good research on intricacies of two cultures, namely Punjabi and Tamilian and uses it to highlight witty, sarcastic remarks by Hero and Heroin.

    It is Judy Balan’s first book and she can be excused for a little faltering in narrative and continuity. The book ,overall, is above average and much better than many corporate executive turned writer’s pathetic excuse of a novel.

    If you appreciate dark humor and sarcasm, then you should definitely read this book.

  2. Mind Numbingly Dumb…. Well… Expected from someone inspired by Chetan Bhagat!
    Very bad writing. Over the top, far from reality and stereotypical portrayal of the Big Fat Indian Families!

    Don’t feel for any character!

    The stupid flash back formula that is actually patented by Mr. Bhagat!

    Can’t blame anyone… I knowingly got into this one, I guess!

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