The Post Birthday World

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The Post Birthday World

Lionel Shriver

Publisher:HarperCollins Publishers (Australia) Pty Ltd

It all hinges on one kiss. Whether Irina McGovern does or does not lean in to a particular pair of lips in London will determine whether she stays with the disciplined intellectual Lawrence, her partner of nearly ten years, or runs off with Ramsey, a hard-living snooker player. Shriver's playful parallel-universe structure allows Irina's departing futures to unfold side-by-side under the influence of two drastically different men. Where Lawrence is supportive if repressed, Ramsey is volatile and spontaneous. These many contrasts have ramifications for Irina's relationships with friends and family, for her career as an illustrator and, most importantly, for the texture of her daily life. For Shriver, love is about trade-offs. Both men in Irina's dual destinies are worthy of her affection but - like real people - marred by severe shortcomings. Yet often the very allure of our mates is what is wrong with them, a truth conveyed with all the subtlety, perceptiveness and drama that made WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT KEVIN an international bestseller.

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