Tuesday, 19 May 2015

Tuesday Titles 047: The Post-Birthday World

Post-Birthday World
The Post-Birthday World by Lionel Shriver

This book was one I'd picked up from a charity shop last year. I've been reading my way through my heap of unread books in no particular order, which seems to have taken the pressure off and in the past few weeks I seem to have read a lot more than usual!

The Post-Birthday World centres on Irina, who at the start of the book is in a steady, long-term relationship with Lawrence. Whilst he's on a business trip, he persuades Irina that she should still keep up their tradition of having dinner with their friend, Ramsey. Irina is in two minds about whether to go, but Lawrence persuades her to and what happens that night changes her life forever. Or does it?

From then on, the book is written in a parallel universe structure, with alternate chapters showing how Irina's life would have gone depending on which decision she had made. I liked this structure, although it did mean that I was aware I was speed-reading some of the chapters as there were some overlap with some of the phrases used or perhaps some of the details were similar if not exactly the same. I didn't find that this hindered my enjoyment of the book. So, things which would happen (i.e. Irina's visit to her mother's) would happen, but the other people involved may be different depending on which universe she were in.

I also enjoyed the various twists to both of the stories. One was fairly obvious from about halfway through, but the other took my entirely by surprise.

A definite positive recommendation here. Read anything worth sharing, lately? Leave it in the comments. 


  1. Will definitely be adding this to my list, it sounds really good! I'm in a real book slump at the moment so I'm constantly on the lookout for something new. - Tasha

    1. Let me know if you'd like me to send it on to you?

  2. Sounds great! I like the alternate options section. I read a Doctor who novel like that once. X

    1. I don't think I can remember reading anything like this before - I really liked the premise.