Review Fridays #13- Two for the Heart

stories in paris book cover

A little about the stories

Author: Ekta R. Garg

“The Proposal”: Pooja and Akshay don’t want to bother with relationships, but they get cornered into marriage. The two devise a fool-proof plan: get married, then get their divorce papers ready. But will they have the guts to go through with the break up?

“Remembrance”: Helen wakes up in the hospital, but she has no idea how she got there. Everyone dodges the question…and then the sister she hasn’t spoken to in 11 years arrives. Why is she here? And will Helen ever remember what happened?

I’m an avid short story reader and was quite excited to read this pair of stories. I will say, however, that I was a bit disappointed after finishing these stories.

The short story, because of its limited length, requires a certain discipline, and a dedication to laser sharp character and plot development. These stories lacked in those key, critical areas, making them less of a complete story and more of a sketch.

In “The Proposal” for instance, the story begins with Pooja and Akshay collecting divorce papers from an attorney just days after their marriage. I was left for a very long time asking why. Though I gained understanding through the remaining pages of Pooja’s perspective on marriage, I’m still a bit clouded when it comes to Akshay.

I did find the underlying story of traditional Indian culture butted up against modern day society quite interesting, but holes in the story made it hard to grasp the entire picture. Pooja wasn’t quite completely fleshed out. I wanted to know more about her. And Akshay was a shadow of a person– I knew little about a very haunted past and felt that I needed to know more. And what about his mother? If she was such an instrumental character in the plot of this story, I felt that there should have been more information about her relationship with her son.

My opinions on “Remembrance” mirror much of my opinion of “The Proposal”.

Despite my issues with these stories, I have high hopes for author, Ekta R. Garg. With further, careful editing for plot, a focus on fully fleshed out characters, some outside feedback, and a keen editor (after all, F. Scott Fitzgerald couldn’t edit his own work, and knew it was best to let someone else) these stories could pack the punch that a reader craves in a great short story like, say, Jhumpa Lahiri’s “A Temporary Matter”.

About the author

Since the start of her publishing career in 2005 Ekta has edited and written about everything from health care to home improvement to Hindi films. She EKTA RESIZEDhas worked for: The Portland Physician Scribe, Portland, Oregon’s premier medical newspaper; show magazines for home tours organized by the Portland Home Builders Association; ABCDlady.com; The Bollywood Ticket; The International Indian; and the annual anthologies published by the Avondale Inkslingers, based in Avondale, Arizona.

In 2011 Ekta stepped off the ledge and became a freelancer. She edits short stories and novels for other writers, contributing to their writing dreams. She is also a part-time editor for aois21, and she reviews books for her own book review blog as well as NetGalley and Bookpleasures.com.

Prairie Sky Publishing serves as the publishing arm of Ekta’s professional writing blog, The Write Edge (thewriteedge.wordpress.com). When she’s not writing, Ekta is a domestic engineer–known in the vernacular as “a housewife.” She’s married, has two energetic daughters who keep her running, and she divides her time between keeping house and fulfilling her writing dreams on a regular basis.

Publisher: Prairie Sky Publishing     ISBN13: 9780990936008

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