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Double or Quits by Shilpa Gupta is a pageturner that brings you a strong woman protagonist who refuses to stay down despite circumstances.
I had read Shilpa Gupta’s debut book, Ananya: a bittersweet journey, and reviewed it here for Women’s Web. I had thoroughly enjoyed that book, which was for a YA readership. So when she asked me if I could review her next book, a book for full adults, I jumped at the chance.
The protagonist of Double or Quits, Jyotsna Singh is an ambitious and talented investment analyst, who has had a meteoric rise in her career as a result of sheer hard work. She has come up from very stringent circumstances, having lost her father early, and brought up by her hardworking mother and grandmother, who believe in her and encourage her to take wing. A very bright student, she graduates from IIM Ahmedabad, along with her 2 roommates, friends that she will have for life.
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At work, a new client, Sahani Hospitals, proves problematic when their head, Aryan Sahani refuses to accept the stock valuation she calculates for their IPO value, claiming that she hadn’t taken into account a few global factors that would have them pegged at a higher value. This account is important for her firm, and if they bag this client, she can look forward to a bonus that would put her in a completely different league, one she has aimed for since her lower middle class beginnings, where she had seen her mother struggle even for the necessities. Despite her misgivings, she goes against her instincts and changes the valuation – but things take a completely unexpected turn once Sahani gets in touch with her as an individual, instead of the CEO of an upcoming hospital chain, and Jyotsna comes to fall in love with him.
What happens next? How does Jyotsna handle the conflict of interests that she is sure to come up against as she juggles her professional and personal dealings with Aryan Sahani? How does she face the consequences of this? How high are the stakes, and how does she face the gamble she has taken in the high octane and cutthroat world of stock markets?
Shilpa Gupta comes up with an intriguing tale of an ethical and brilliant woman’s struggles against the demons of temptation, betrayal, and ignominy. She has created very real, believable characters – (except for Aryan Sahani – I found something a bit fantastic about him), and makes the reader care about the protagonist within the first few pages, which is half the battle won, in any narrative – and makes you want to know more. Her portrayal of the sisterhood among the three roommates at IIM, a friendship that is finally the rock that Jyotsna builds her further life on, brought on waves on nostalgia, and is something every woman who has a friend like that will approve of.
A quick metro read, Double or Quits is a pageturner that will leave you wanting more from this author.
Book cover image: amazon
Header image source: pixabay
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