Now that I’m trying to get back into the swing of things here, I figured it was time to start up with my choice of Book of the Month. As an aspiring author and nearly fully trained school librarian, it shouldn’t come as a huge surprise that I love to read! Like L-O-V-E to read! Like fully obsessed, can’t get through a day without it, LOVE to read! Ok, you get the point… Books are a huge part of my life and what would a blog about becoming a writer myself be, if I didn’t also pay homage to those that have already achieved their dream?
And so, for January’s book I have chosen The Two Lives of Lydia Bird by Josie Silver. Now many of you may have read her sensational bestselling debut novel, One Day in December, and loved it. I can assure you – this one is very different, but no less brilliant. It’s the kind of book that makes you think and sticks with you during the day when you aren’t reading and for a while after you’ve finished it.
For those of you that haven’t read it, The Two Lives of Lydia Bird centres on the idea of finding your way back after losing a loved one. Lydia’s fiancé Freddie has died. They met and fell in love when they were 16 and she has no idea who she is, or how to live, without him. The first part of the book is desperately sad. Lydia’s grief comes off the page in waves and fills you with heartache. Having never been in Lydia’s situation myself, I can only guess what it must feel like, but Silver has managed to put into words how devastating I imagine grief of that magnitude would be and it broke my heart.
But… out of this unimaginable pain and suffering, a second chance of sorts appears. Lydia is able to experience an alternate version of her life, where Freddie never died. The book is cleverly split in to “Awake” and “Asleep” chapters that guide you through Lydia’s struggles to move on in the real world and her glimpses of the life she could have had in her “dream world”. These glimpses were, in the beginning, a welcome reprieve from the all-consuming grief of the first part of the book. They allowed a bit of light to shine through the gloom and I enjoyed seeing the snippets of the life and love she could have had. By far though, the awake chapters are the real treasures in this book and the ones I found captured my attention the best. Lydia’s struggle to find herself, to move through the grief and allow it to change her, but not define her, is truly moving. I was swept up by her journey and couldn’t wait to get back to it, every time I had to put the book down and do some “adulting”.
All in all I would give this book ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
It pulled me in, gave me all the emotional highs and lows and left me wanting more when it was done. The characters in it feel real and their experiences believable. The story is excellently crafted and I loved how Lydia’s lives (both of them) progressed throughout the book. If you haven’t read it yet, I’d definitely recommend you pick it up and give it a go!
The Book Blurb
Lydia and Freddie. Freddie and Lydia. They’d been together for more than a decade and Lydia thought their love was indestructible. But she was wrong. On Lydia’s twenty-eighth birthday, Freddie died in a car accident.
So now it’s just Lydia, and all she wants is to hide indoors and sob until her eyes fall out. But Lydia knows that Freddie would want her to try to live fully, happily, even without him. So, enlisting the help of his best friend, Jonah, and her sister, Elle, she takes her first tentative steps into the world, open to life—and perhaps even love—again.
But then something inexplicable happens that gives her another chance at her old life with Freddie. A life where none of the tragic events of the past few months have happened.
Lydia is pulled again and again through the doorway to her past, living two lives, impossibly, at once. But there’s an emotional toll to returning to a world where Freddie, alive, still owns her heart. Because there’s someone in her new life, her real life, who wants her to stay.