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The post-birthday world
Lionel Shriver
Adult Fiction SHRIVER

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From Publishers' Weekly:

The smallest details of staid coupledom duel it out with a lusty alternate reality that begins when a woman passes up an opportunity to cheat on her longtime boyfriend in Shriver's latest (after the Orange Prize-winning We Need to Talk About Kevin). Irina McGovern, a children's book illustrator in London, lives in comfortable familiarity with husband-in-everything-but-marriage-certificate Lawrence Trainer, and every summer the two have dinner with their friend, the professional snooker player Ramsey Acton, to celebrate Ramsey's birthday. One year, following Ramsey's divorce and while terrorism specialist "think tank wonk" Lawrence is in Sarajevo on business, Irina and Ramsey have dinner, and after cocktails and a spot of hash, Irina is tempted to kiss Ramsey. From this near-smooch, Shriver leads readers on a two-pronged narrative: one consisting of what Irina imagines would have happened if she had given in to temptation, the other showing Irina staying with Lawrence while fantasizing about Ramsey. With Jamesian patience, Shriver explores snooker tournaments and terrorism conferences, passionate lovemaking and passionless sex, and teases out her themes of ambition, self-recrimination and longing. The result is an impressive if exhausting novel. (Mar.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

From Library Journal:

Will London-based American expatriate Irena remain with stalwart partner Lawrence or run off with their wild friend Ramsey, a celebrated snooker player? Shriver considers both alternatives. With a five-city tour; reading group guide. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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more titles about

main characters Irina McGovern
Female
Lives with her long-time boyfriend; illustrates children's books; almost cheats on Lawrence with Ramsey.
Illustrator

Lawrence Trainer
Male
Irina's long-time live-in boyfriend; terrorism specialist.

Ramsey Acton
Male
Divorced
Irina and Lawrence's friend; professional billiards player.



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