Synopses & Reviews
?The Post-Birthday World is a brilliant ?what if novel. But that barely scrapes the surface in describing Shriver's imaginative feat. . . .It's mad genius. . . . A tour de force.? ? USA TodayAmerican children's book illustrator Irina McGovern enjoys a secure, settled life in London with her smart, loyal, disciplined partner, Lawrence ? until the night she finds herself inexplicably drawn to kissing another man, a passionate, extravagant, top-ranked snooker player. Two competing alternate futures hinge on this single kiss, as Irina's decision ? to surrender to temptation or to preserve her seemingly safe partnership with Lawrence ? will have momentous consequences for her career, her friendships and familial relationships, and the texture of her daily life.?A playful, psychologically acute, and luxuriously textured meditation on the nature of love.? ? The New Yorker?Outstanding. . . . Shriver, a brilliant and versatile writer, allows these competing stories to unfold organically, each a fully rounded drama, rich with irony, ambiguity, and unforeseeable human complications.? ? Entertainment Weekly? A] wonderful new novel. . . . The rewards for sticking with these five-hundred-plus pages are as delicious as one of Irina's feasts.? ? Washington Post Book World?Book clubs across the USA should be buying up stacks of Lionel Shriver's dazzling Rubik's Cube of a novel. . . . Even if you?re a solitary reader, file this one under Books That Will Have You Talking ? to yourself.? ? USA Today
Children's book illustrator Irina McGovern enjoys a quiet and settled life in London with her partner, fellow American expatriate Lawrence Trainer, a smart, loyal, disciplined intellectual at a prestigious think tank. To their small circle of friends, their relationship is rock solid. Until the night Irina unaccountably finds herself dying to kiss another man: their old friend from South London, the stylish, extravagant, passionate top-ranking snooker player Ramsey Acton. The decision to give in to temptation will have consequences for her career, her relationships with family and friends, and perhaps most importantly the texture of her daily life.
Hinging on a single kiss, this enchanting work of fiction depicts Irina's alternating futures with two men temperamentally worlds apart yet equally honorable. With which true love Irina is better off is neither obvious nor easy to determine, but Shriver's exploration of the two destinies is memorable and gripping. Poignant and deeply honest, written with the subtlety and wit that are the hallmarks of Shriver's work, The Post-Birthday World appeals to the what-if in us all.