ARC Review: The Two Lives of Lydia Bird (Josie Silver)

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Genre: Adult Fiction
Publisher: Penguin Books
Publication Date: March 3rd 2020
Format: ARC Paperback
Source: Times Reads
Page Count: 431

Blurb from Goodreads:

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 her twenty-eighth birthday, Freddie died in a car accident.

So now it’s just Lydia, and all she wants to do is 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 across the doorway of 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.

Written with Josie Silver’s trademark warmth and wit, The Two Lives of Lydia Bird is a powerful and thrilling love story about the what-ifs that arise at life’s crossroads, and what happens when one woman is given a miraculous chance to answer them.


RATING

4 STARS

HERE’S MY REVIEW

This book is just so complicated for me to review. It is not that I don’t enjoy the story, it is because of the heavy theme that makes my head and heart hurt while I read it.

Josie Silver takes us on an in-depth journey of grief and sadness experienced by our main protagonist, Lydia Bird when she loses her boyfriend, Freddie Hunter in a car accident. Lydia and Hunter have been soulmates since high school and both of them have a close relationship with their best friend, Jonah Jones. After the incident, the long-lasting friendship between Lydia and Jonah falls apart.

Lydia tries to adjust her life without Freddie and she uses sleeping pills to help her go to sleep every night. Surprisingly, she finds herself in another world where she can find Freddie in her sleep. She uses the pills as an escapism from the real world to spent more time with her boyfriend and tries to find answers on how to move forward. Understandingly, Lydia’s mother and sister finds the coping mechanism to be very problematic that Lydia finds solace in taking sleeping pills to a point where she becomes addicted to it.

The story highlights on Lydia’s struggles to continue living, for example coming to work, putting herself together and working out the ties with her family and friends. It certainly takes time for her to get over someone who used to be in her life, but eventually Lydia realizes that she needs to move on and evolve. I love it how Josie Silver takes the time to write on how grief can impact a person in both short and long term.

It is so admirable and inspiring that Lydia pulls herself from the sadness and moves on and tries out new things. She travels to Croatia, a place where she doesn’t know anything about and mingles around with strangers to get new experiences. The last 50 pages of the book is so heartbreaking to read because that is the point where Lydia is ready to let her past go and to never let it haunt her anymore.

The realizations about grief and loss that Lydia receives along the way are so moving that we as readers can always get something from. Grief and loss are subjective subjects that people will have ways to recover from. Reading about Lydia Bird’s recovery is unquestionably a rough journey but the ending sets a message that there is always a rainbow after the storm.

Many thanks to Times Reads for sending The Two Lives of Lydia Bird in exchange of an honest review.

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Sabrina

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