Shhhh. I have a new lover. You know how it is, you think about them all day long and thoughts of them pop into your head at the most inopportune moments – like during a meeting at work, or worse, you find yourself tuning out of hum-drum conversations with your real partner to think about the new lover. I can’t wait to join up with my lover every day at our usual time. Sometimes we manage to hook up twice in one day. Oh the bliss!
Now, before you start wagging your finger at me and going on and on about what a great guy Ken is and how I’m playing with fire, blah, blah, blah, let me tell you who my new lover is…..
It’s a book.
Do you get the feeling, when you read a really good book, that you never want it to end? You try to savor every word on every page in order to make it last, but then find yourself gobbling it up just because the words are soooo delicious? That’s what this book is like. I love that feeling, don’t you?
The book is The Post Birthday World by Lionel Shriver. I recently read We Need to Talk About Kevin, her previous book, and that’s when I fell in love with her writing (yes, Lionel Shriver is a she). Now I’ve got one of her previous books (Double Fault) waiting in the wings for me at the library, it’s going to be a Lionel Shriver love-fest at my house for several more weeks!
The PB World is about a choice the main character must make: whether or not to give into a temptation to kiss her life partner’s best friend. That’s when the book splits into two separate stories – what her life becomes if she does and what might happen if she resists. This author has a talent for describing the internal lives of women in a way that rings absolutely true to me – our fears and fantasies, our (sometimes) willingness to give too much of ourselves to others, our own duplicity. As I said before, her words are a delicious feast.
I’m often loathe to recommend books. You tell a couple of people what a great book such-and-such is, they run out to reserve it at the library, or (horror of horrors), they actually buy it, then they spend several chapters trying to figure out why you thought it was such a bang-up read before abandoning it for something more to their own taste. I recently had this happen when I recommended The Terror, and two people I know actually tried to read it. They both hated it. Loathed it, in fact. Of course, I admit to doing the same thing with some of the must-read recommendations from my own friends and family.
Anyway, try it if you get a hankerin’. Maybe The Post Birthday World can become your secret lover also.