The Post-Birthday World: A Novel

The Post-Birthday World: A Novel

Lionel Shriver
544 pages


  • Fiction & Literature

American 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.



  • Lionel Shriver


HarperCollins on Mar 17, 2009

  • Senior Fiction
  • encyclopedia article
  • read 0707



I found this book incredibly frustrating. At first, I was intrigued by the concept of how Irina's, the main character, would change if she gave into an attraction or if she stayed true to her long time boyfriend. However the frustration stems from the fact that in both universe's Irina continues to sit on the fence for a long time about either decision she made and half the time I was feeling that neither was the right decision. I think part of my problem was also that the object of her attraction, Ramsey, is not a very likeable character and aside from sexual attraction, you don't really understand what Irina sees in him. For me, Irina's revelation about herself on the last 2 pages came too little too late.