Wednesday, July 30, 2008

"The Post-Birthday World" Lionel Shriver

The second book that I read specifically for the Savvy Summer Reading Challenge, “The Post-Birthday World” was a little winded, but all in all it gave me a lot to think about!

Essentially the book follows Irinia McGovern when she reaches a point in her life when she must make a decision in her romantic life. Does she kiss this exciting, handsome stranger and leave her dependable, steady boyfriend for him, or should she resist the fleeting temptation and remain faithful to her boyfriend. At this point, the book essentially divides into two parts; one chapter will chronicle her life after making the first decision, the next chapter follows her life after making the second decision. This writing style made the book interesting to read, and I’m sure that it made many readers evaluate their own life-changing decisions they’ve made in the past. However it wasn’t the style of writing that made this the most interesting for me. It really was the overall theme of the book. The book wasn’t meant to make the reader decide which destiny the woman should follow, it was meant to make the point that no person has one set destiny from the very beginning. The book opens the reader up to the possibility that someone can have two (or more) very different destinies, and that they are each, in their own way, the right one. It was such a different idea to me, one that opened my eyes to decisions that I’ve made in the past and how one decision or another could have changed my path forever. I’ve always just thought that there was one destiny in store for me, and that no matter what happened, I was doing what was “meant to be”. Although I’m still happy with how my life is going, this book really made me think, and I love that in a good novel.

Overall, great book, great concept, although a little long (I did get bored at times). I’m glad that I read it though.

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