Amy Reads Books

The Post-Birthday World

The Post-Birthday World - LIONEL SHRIVER his novel is chick-lit with a little more brains. It deals specifically with relationships, and what people want from their relationships-comfort or physical satisfaction.The book follows Irina, a half-Russian American who lives in London with her American partner Lawrence, who is a PhD-holding research fellow in international relations at an institution in London. The crux of the book is based on the fact that when Lawrence is abroad in Serbia on a work trip, Irina must fulfil their usual tradition of meeting with snooker star Ramsey Acton for his birthday, alone.Her decision between whether to start an affair with Ramsey, or to continue her life with Lawrence splits the novel into a parallel world structure-with one chapter detailing life with Ramsey, and the other detailing life with Lawrence.I really enjoyed this novel. Shriver fully realises all the characters, along with Irina, Ramsey and Lawrence, there’s Irina’s family in America, Ramsey’s ex-wife Jude, his tour manager and the female research fellow Britney.Whilst Shriver seems to suggest which path may have been the correct one to follow, as Irina’s life definitely seems better on one side, it is still open to the interpretation of the reader. I certainly know which man I preferred, yet of course, one has to remember that you are getting occasional glimpses of the grass being greener, when Irina is with Ramsey, Lawrence is a wonderful reminder of the old days; and when she is with Lawrence, Ramsey is a reminder of what she could have done. The only real flaw in this was that in either path I really didn't like Irina; she moaned a bit too much for me.I liked this novel a great deal, even if I have come out of it a lot more knowledgeable about the rules of snooker than I may have wished to be.