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A second chance at life

Sudbury Living Magazine June 8, 2017 Uncategorized No Comments

 

REVIEW: THE POST-BIRTHDAY WORLD BY LIONEL SHRIVER

I dated someone several years ago. A musician. It didna��t work out, and therea��s this one moment that I still think about sometimes because Ia��d like to go back and do it over. Do it better. See what was waiting down the road I didna��t take.

Truthfully, I doubt it would change anything much. But I want to know.

We all have those moments, right?

In Lionel Shrivera��s The Post-Birthday World, Irina McGovern gets just such a do-over. The first few chapters follow her and her long-time partner Lawrence through a warm, well-worn relationship. At a crucial moment, Irina makes a decision which alters the course of her life. We see the consequences, and how Irina deals with them.

Then, when the chapter ends, we go back.

Shriver returns to that fateful choice, and allows Irina to try again. The next chapter shows us what happens when Irina chooses door number two. The chapter after that returns us to door number one.

And thata��s how the rest of the book unfolds a�� each chapter alternating between the first reality and the second, and Irinaa��s place in them. Both are happy and sad, in their own ways, and therea��s no way to tell which was the better choice a�� ita��s like comparing apples to oranges, if youa��ll forgive the laboured simile.

It isna��t spoiling much a�� but if youa��re a purist about these things, skip the next two paragraphs a�� to say that Irinaa��s decision revolves around two men. In the beginning, I was certain I knew which one Ia��d choose (hint: ita��s the sexy, raffish one).

I dated someone several years ago. A musician. It didna��t work out, and therea��s this one moment that I still think about sometimes because Ia��d like to go back and do it over. Do it better. See what was waiting down the road I didna��t take.

Truthfully, I doubt it would change anything much. But I want to know.

We all have those moments, right?

In Lionel Shrivera��s The Post-Birthday World, Irina McGovern gets just such a do-over. The first few chapters follow her and her long-time partner Lawrence through a warm, well-worn relationship. At a crucial moment, Irina makes a decision which alters the course of her life. We see the consequences, and how Irina deals with them.

Then, when the chapter ends, we go back.

Shriver returns to that fateful choice, and allows Irina to try again. The next chapter shows us what happens when Irina chooses door number two. The chapter after that returns us to door number one.

And thata��s how the rest of the book unfolds a�� each chapter alternating between the first reality and the second, and Irinaa��s place in them. Both are happy and sad, in their own ways, and therea��s no way to tell which was the better choice a�� ita��s like comparing apples to oranges, if youa��ll forgive the laboured simile.

It isna��t spoiling much a�� but if youa��re a purist about these things, skip the next two paragraphs a�� to say that Irinaa��s decision revolves around two men. In the beginning, I was certain I knew which one Ia��d choose (hint: ita��s the sexy, raffish one).

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