The Birthdays: A Novel

ISBN: 0393061272
ISBN 13: 9780393061277
By: Heidi Pitlor

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Reader's Thoughts


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.

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).


Although I thought the characters were well written I felt like this story was really lacking something. I kept waiting for somthing to happen or for the plot to get better, but it didn't. The story just ended rather suddenly with no real resolution to any of the story lines

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.


(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.


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.


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.


I'm half way in...but working on some other books too...this one has been collecting dust on my nightstand for a while. Seems promising though...


Such a sad group of family members. Book had no point and do not understand the title. It's just one birthday not several


Novel centers on a family (three children and their parents) reuniting to celebrate Dad's 75th birthday. The book has a lot of promise and bright spots, but came across as dull and lackluster to me.


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.


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.

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.


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.


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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