If you’ve ever been plagued by those torturous two little words ‘what if’ then this is the book for you. Lionel Shriver’s ‘The post birthday world’ is all about the choices we make in life, and the what ifs that those choices inevitably leave behind them, like shadows, always following us from a discreet distance.
The story is simple- a woman- Irina- is in a long term, content relationship. At some point, during one particular dinner, she reaches a crossroad where she is momentarily tempted to start an affair with another man. She can go this way or that, there’s no two ways about it. What Shriver does is try to answer the million-dollar what if question: so what happens if Irina goes off with the new, exciting, interesting man, leaving behind her long-term partner? What future does that lead to? And on the other hand, what if she decides to stay, and not rock the boat?
Like Shriver’s ‘We need to talk about Kevin’, a disturbing, brilliant book which caused an uproar when it was published, the ‘Post birthday world’ doesn’t offer any easy answers about ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ choices. All in all, an excellent read, highly recommended.