Title: The Post-Birthday World
Author: Lionel Shriver
Published: March 2007
Summary: Irina is content with her life as a children’s book illustrator living in England with her long-term partner, Lawrence. Lawrence and Irina take snooker player, Ramsey, out for his birthday each year. This year, however, Irina takes Ramsey out on her own as Lawrence is away. Irina finds herself drawn to Ramsey and here the story diverges into parallel stories: one where she resists her attraction to Ramsey and one where she gives in to the attraction.
Why I Am Recommending: This book is exceptionally well-written. I was in awe of Shriver’s parallel story writing and the threads she wove between them. Absolutely beautifully written. That being said, this book is not everyone’s cup of tea. This is a dense novel that spends a great deal of time immersed in a person’s psyche. The writing is brutally honest and makes the reader face the darkest thoughts of their mind, but it is an impressive spectacle nonetheless. This book does have some sexually graphic passages, so if you are sensitive to that you may want to steer clear. I only recommend this book to the most avid readers who would appreciate the intense writing of Shriver–definitely not a breezy read recommendation. This would be a great pick for a serious book club as there is a lot to talk about and dissect