THE TWO LIVES OF LYDIA BIRD by Josie Silver

THE TWO LIVES OF LYDIA BIRD

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KIRKUS REVIEW

A woman loses her partner in a horrific car accident and must piece together her life while dreaming about an alternate reality of what life would have been like had he not died.

On Lydia Bird’s 28th birthday, she has an innocuous conversation with her long-term partner, Freddie Hunter. He's going to make a detour to pick up his best friend, Jonah Jones, for her birthday dinner. The delay will make him late, much to Lydia’s chagrin. And with that, the last conversation she ever has with her beloved passes her by while she tries to disentangle a Velcro roller from her hair. Author Silver (One Day in December, 2018) has created a story about grief that follows Lydia in two worlds—real life, where she must grapple with life without Freddie for the first time since they met at school in their little Shropshire town in England, and in her sleeping pill–aided dreams, where there was no accident and their wedding plans are continuing apace. Jonah—the third in their group, Lydia’s one-time best friend before Freddie moved to town, and a constant, friendly presence in her life from childhood—is also struggling with the accident, which he walked away from. This is very much Lydia’s story, however, as she learns to exist as one person instead of as part of a couple. She receives ample support from those around her—her sister, her mother, her co-workers, Jonah—even though she is so caught up in herself and what might have been that she does not reciprocate. At its core, this is a story of love lost and individual growth. But it is also about love found and future happiness. While this is in many ways the complete opposite of Linda Holmes' Evvie Drake Starts Over, fans of that book will enjoy it.

A story that thoughtfully takes readers to the Hollywood ending they can see coming.

Pub Date: March 3rd, 2020
ISBN: 978-0-593-13523-5
Page count: 384pp
Publisher: Ballantine
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1st, 2020