From the Orange Prize winning author of We Need to Talk About Kevin, this is the novel Lionel Shriver wrote directly afterwards. The Post-Birthday World is an unflinching account of the choices that unfold before us and what our decisions really mean.
Irina McGovern's destiny hinges on a single kiss. Whether she gives into its temptation will determine whether she stays with her reliable partner Lawrence, or runs off with Ramsey, a hard-living snooker player.
Employing a parallel universe structure, Shriver spins Irina's competing futures with two drastically different men. An intellectual and fellow American, Lawrence is clever and supportive, but rigid and emotionally withdrawn. A British celebrity, Ramsey is passionate and spontaneous, but jealous, undereducated, and prone to pick arguments. Their contrasting characters will colour her other relationships, her career, and the texture of her daily life.
If love is always about trade-offs-if every romantic prospect is flawed-how can we ever know whom to choose?