Mary Catherine's Reviews > The Post-Birthday World

The Post-Birthday World by Lionel Shriver
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's review
Oct 08, 2007

liked it

The premise of this book is intriguing: A woman in a long-term relationship finds herself in a situation where she is very tempted to kiss another man. From that point on, the story splits into two, one version where she does kiss the other guy and one where she doesn’t.

Ultimately, I’m not sure the book really lives up to that interesting premise. It is very long; I think it could have been a good 100 pages shorter and been better for it. The writing is good, but I found myself actively disliking most of the characters. I also found it to be rather depressing; I tend to disagree with the viewpoint that marriage/committed relationships always have to be such hard work. Obviously, if you want a successful marriage, you need to work at it, but the relentless navel-gazing and “deep thoughts” in this book made me crazy. If love and relationships were this awful, mankind would have gone extinct ages ago.
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