BOOK REVIEW OF ‘THE TALE OF TWO COUNTRIES’ BY B.K. KARKRA

Book Title: The Tale of Two Countries

Author: B. K. Karkra

Total Number of Pages: 192

Publisher: Rupa Publications

Publication Date: 20 April 2018

Format: Paperback

Language: English

Genre: Fiction / Historical Fiction

BLURB

‘outside environment seemed to have completely overshadowed his genes. He was getting more and more anglicized with every passing year and almost felt embarrassed of being the son of his parents. He felt that they were out of tune with life in Britain.’

When a young Gursevak Grewal first sees Sukhvinder Kaur in Lahore, it is love at first sight for both of them. But then the country is brutally ripped apart, forcing the young lovers to push their emotions back and begin an arduous journey back to their country-India.

Having survived the horrors of Partition, the couple begins another journey-of blissful matrimony. Supporting each other through the various ups and downs of life, they migrate to England, start a business and see the birth of their only child, Gursukh, in due course. Everything seems perfect, yet the couple makes one last journey-this time, back to India.

What makes them take this journey?

Weaving history with fiction, The Tale of Two Countries is a moving saga of a family as well as a commentary on the lives of hundreds of Grewals who, lured by life abroad, take the plunge, and have to deal with both the pressure to make good in the alien land as well as the longing for the motherland left behind.

REVIEWED BY SOHINEE DEY

‘The Tale of Two Countries’ is a partition story involving countries like India, Pakistan and England. While not a complete historical fiction, the author has used plenty of historical citations. So, yes, there’s plenty of history in the narrative.

The Tale of Two Countries by B.K. Karkra Book Review

The story revolves around a newly married couple, Gurusevak Grewal and Sukhvinder Kaur who were lured in to leave for England just like any Indian who harbours a dream of making it big in abroad. They invest in a small business which in its due course of time expands earning them enough money to not want to go back to India. In their happy married life, Gurusukh comes into the picture and they are happier than ever to have him in their closely knit family.

The book explores the rural and urban lives in India, takes about India’s independence and the changes that were brought about and how people garnered a new perspective. It also talks about how the British who ruled out country for ages impacted the lifestyle of people and the the change in attitude of the governing bodies and also the police force. Later on, the book also explores the life of the two people in England.

The author has mingled history with fiction wherein he doesn’t miss to talk about the partition history of India and its impact on the people of either side of the countries. The narrative hits close to home and brings out the forgotten memories that we so hopelessly try to bury down in an attempt of living a better life.

The tale of Two Countries is all about the circle of life and everything in-between.

The narrative has that homey feeling to it, that smell of motherland, if it makes any sense. I also loved the characters. They were portrayed so well. They were fleshed out well. Each of their feelings and thoughts were sketched out so well that I could actually feel them.

The only thing that I felt was missing in the book is a climax. The story has the same steady flow the entire time and I was hoping that something unusual would happen, buy it never came. Nonetheless, the story is good as it is.

FINAL THOUGHTS

The book is a short read and doesn’t take up too much time. I really liked the theme and the overall presentation of the story.

Anyone who likes stories with a touch of history or would like to know more about the Partition, or are interested in historical fiction in general can give this book a read.

POESY IN CHRYSALIS RATING : ⭐⭐⭐ / ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

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3 thoughts on “BOOK REVIEW OF ‘THE TALE OF TWO COUNTRIES’ BY B.K. KARKRA

  1. An interesting discussion is worth comment. I think that you should write more on this topic, it might not be a taboo subject but generally people are not enough to speak on such topics. To the next. Cheers

    Like

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