The Birthdays: A Novel

ISBN: 0393061272
ISBN 13: 9780393061277
By: Heidi Pitlor

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Reader's Thoughts


I really really liked this novel. A weekend in the life of a family on the brink of the new generation, it was sensitive, insightful, fun, traumatic, heartfelt, moving, difficult and above all an enjoyable read. I can picture myself alongside the family on their beach house. Just my kind of book.


This book had an interesting concept with 3 women in 1 family, in various stages of pregnancy. But each character had so many issues. I guess I read to escape and I don't want to read about people going through the same type of issues.

Janice Williams

I loved this book... the inner-workings of this family and the way the author set up the characters and their backstories was very good. The publisher's description states it "examines modern-day marriage, pregnancy, and parenthood." It's really a book about the relationships between siblings and the siblings with the parents, and how each person in a family gets locked into certain roles. I would recommend this book to fans of Elizabeth Berg (one of my favorite writers).


A great story about the bonds of family, despite the flaws of the family members.

Michelle Amarante

It's not often that I dislike the characters in a book, but this was one of them. What a bunch of self-absorbed people. I felt bad for the dad, he seemed to be the only really nice person out of the whole bunch.


Pitlor is certainly a talented author and the simplicity of the book was engrossing. There was a lot of depth to the characters yet they were easy to relate to. The story was great with the exception of the flagrant lack of resolution at the end. The only acceptable possibility is that Ms. Pitlor is setting up a second book, which I would personally look forward to, but I do not believe that that is the case. I crave more information about these characters and their future!


(Spoil alert) Good - 1st novel. Family meets in Maine for father's 75th b-day. Each family is pregnant. Jake and Liz are rich - pregnant with twins. Hillary is pregnant and doesn't know who the father is. Daniel and Brenda - lose baby on way to birthday.


I hated this book. The characters bothered me to no end. It's not often that I dislike a book this much. I wouldn't recommend this read to anyone.


Some people at my work said this was good, but I just dont care that much about pregnancy. It was okay.

Megan Jordan

This was an interesting book with a lot of depth of character. I felt the author was very authentic with how her characters would react to life changing circumstances, but some of their traits were a little over done. Much like life I suppose. I was a tad disappointed in the ending because I like to know what happens to all the characters, and I flipped the last page stunned to see I was at the end. What happened to everyone? Again, that is probably personal preference. Intriguing read.


When I first started reading The Birthdays, I thought it was a story I would enjoy...I was wrong. This one was just okay. The characters never seemed to mesh. I did not like the flow of the story and most of the time I just wanted to put the book aside and start something else.

Anne Jones

It didn't get my attention right away so i left it and went to another. Came back and did finish it but wasn't that excited. Family gets together and they each have individual trials. The book does not tell how the trials end so that leaves yoi hanging.


Generally a little self-indulgent, and it made me feel, at times, like I was reading a harlequin romance.However, the characters definitely seeped into my subconscious and I thought about them, and their particular situations probably more than I should have.


although an easy read, this book was a long story without much of a plot or story. the author gave away everyone's secrets to the reader very early there were no surprises and no suspense. and in the end i just didn't really like any of the characters.


If I could, I'd choose three and a half stars for The Birthday because, though Pitlor's writing gets better as the novel progresses, it takes a while for her to find her sea legs. This is a family tale in an Anne Tyler vein, with believable characters who mistrust, misunderstand, misspeak, misstep---and who, in the end, love each other and show it.

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