The Birthdays: A Novel

ISBN: 0393061272
ISBN 13: 9780393061277
By: Heidi Pitlor

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Reader's Thoughts


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


Even though I'm a bit tired of "the family drama" plot line right now, this one somehow managed to treat the typical tensions anew with sharply drawn characters and beautiful language too.


I plodded my way through this book all the way to the end, hoping for closure and/or some other revelation about what the characters learned through their traumatic experiences. Unfortunately, that didn't happen and I thought the ending was a bit abrupt in terms of the storyline, though appropriate given the nature of the events happening over the course of a long weekend. As others have said, I didn't particularly like any of the characters, and so I was a bit disengaged right from the start. Not a book I would recommend to others.


The writing is fairly engrossing, but the sense of place is terrible, especially considering the importance the novel places on the setting.


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.


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.


Quite sad to start (for the first half actually!) Hoping it has a good lesson in the end?! Nope... not much. I didn't find much closure and I'm certainly not pleased with the book overall... oh well :(


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.


This book had some definite bright spots - some nice writing and interesting characters, although none of the characters were particularly likeable. It was a fast read, though, despite the somewhat aggravating characters. I probably would've given this a 3 but I was really bothered by how the writer handled the "miscarriage" scene. When you're well into your third trimester, you don't just start bleeding and then have a D&C with no attempts to save the baby or even see if the heart is still beating. It was a very WTF kind of scene for me. I was so distracted by that, it was hard to finish the book.


I got through over half of this book and NOTHING was happening at all. I read as far as I could before I was so bored with it, that I just gave up. I have only given up in the middle of a book a couple of times, but I just could not finish this one.

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.

Susan Pithie

Enjoyable nothing too distinctive....I would have liked the characters not to have so much to say in their thoughts. It was little pat especially about the sister who was a single parent just falling into her new life. Not as much depth as could have been developed.


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.


I almost stopped reading this book a few times but kept hoping it would get better. It was a sad group of characters and the fact that their angst and self-absorption came to a boil at their father's seventy-fifth birthday dinner only increased my disgust with them. There wasn't a single character with which I could empathize and it was depressing to read about a family who were so separate from one another.


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

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