The Post-Birthday World


I just started reading The Post-Birthday World by Lionel Shriver (HarperCollins, 2007).  This is notable because I haven't been reading many books that are just for grownups lately.  First there were the finalists for the Cybils, then the Newbery Honor books, and I still have a stack of middle-grade novels I can't wait to start.  I don't know if I'm going to finish The Post-Birthday World either (I think I've been spoiled by all those middle-grade novels).  It does have an interesting parallel-universe structure; and the protagonist, Irina McGovern, is a children's book illustrator.  I hope she gets some better assignments later in the novel, because this one doesn't sound promising:  "Irina collaborated on a second children's book with Jude--the overt manipulativeness of the first, along the lines of I Love to Clean Up My Room!, appealed to parents as much as it repelled children, and had ensured that it sold well" (6).