Average Smashwords Rating: 5/5 stars
My rating: 2/5 stars
I’ve had such mixed feelings about Hiranya Borah’s stories and Only He Knows is no different. It’s about a married couple that seem perfect but not everything is as it seems. Himangshu cheated on his wife Seema for years, even when she’s dying of cancer. But as the story unfolds, it becomes clear that Seema wronged her husband first.
This had the potential to be a great story. And as is, it’s not that bad. Better than some of Borah’s other stories. But it’s poorly constructed. The text is stilted and formal, except when Borah uses too many exclamation points (seven, yes, seven exclamation points on the last sentence does not an ending make) and originally I thought the story was about Himangshu’s and Seema’s son Arav, not them.
The story wasn’t long enough for me to really care about the characters, either. It’s supposed to show the good guy is really at wrong while giving sympathy to the bad guy (the preface said as much) but Himangshu’s infidelity isn’t even revealed until halfway through the story and before that he seems like the perfect husband. I didn’t know who was bad or good because they both were good at first. If this story was constructed well, then Himangshu’s adultery would have been clear from the start and the entire first chapter would have been devoted to Himangshu and Seema instead of Arav, who is not actually a main character, even though he turns out to be important later on.
Despite the storytelling problems, I did like the characters. Well, I liked Himangshu. He is a complex character who struggles between anger and resentment and being a good husband. Seema has practically no depth at all. She’s just a name on a page with no personality, dialog, or actions to speak of until she gets cancer.
Maybe if the author took time to edit and revise his work more, this story would be fantastic. But as it is right now, it’s only okay. Best to look elsewhere for deep and meaningful love stories.
You can read Only He knows for free on Smashwords.