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THE TWO LIVES OF LYDIA BIRD

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

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 3, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-593-13523-5

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Ballantine

Review Posted Online: Dec. 8, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2020

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IT ENDS WITH US

Packed with riveting drama and painful truths, this book powerfully illustrates the devastation of abuse—and the strength of...

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Hoover’s (November 9, 2015, etc.) latest tackles the difficult subject of domestic violence with romantic tenderness and emotional heft.

At first glance, the couple is edgy but cute: Lily Bloom runs a flower shop for people who hate flowers; Ryle Kincaid is a surgeon who says he never wants to get married or have kids. They meet on a rooftop in Boston on the night Ryle loses a patient and Lily attends her abusive father’s funeral. The provocative opening takes a dark turn when Lily receives a warning about Ryle’s intentions from his sister, who becomes Lily’s employee and close friend. Lily swears she’ll never end up in another abusive home, but when Ryle starts to show all the same warning signs that her mother ignored, Lily learns just how hard it is to say goodbye. When Ryle is not in the throes of a jealous rage, his redeeming qualities return, and Lily can justify his behavior: “I think we needed what happened on the stairwell to happen so that I would know his past and we’d be able to work on it together,” she tells herself. Lily marries Ryle hoping the good will outweigh the bad, and the mother-daughter dynamics evolve beautifully as Lily reflects on her childhood with fresh eyes. Diary entries fancifully addressed to TV host Ellen DeGeneres serve as flashbacks to Lily’s teenage years, when she met her first love, Atlas Corrigan, a homeless boy she found squatting in a neighbor’s house. When Atlas turns up in Boston, now a successful chef, he begs Lily to leave Ryle. Despite the better option right in front of her, an unexpected complication forces Lily to cut ties with Atlas, confront Ryle, and try to end the cycle of abuse before it’s too late. The relationships are portrayed with compassion and honesty, and the author’s note at the end that explains Hoover’s personal connection to the subject matter is a must-read.

Packed with riveting drama and painful truths, this book powerfully illustrates the devastation of abuse—and the strength of the survivors.

Pub Date: Aug. 2, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-5011-1036-8

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Atria

Review Posted Online: May 30, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2016

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LOVE AND OTHER WORDS

With frank language and patient plotting, this gangly teen crush grows into a confident adult love affair.

Eleven years ago, he broke her heart. But he doesn’t know why she never forgave him.

Toggling between past and present, two love stories unfold simultaneously. In the first, Macy Sorensen meets and falls in love with the boy next door, Elliot Petropoulos, in the closet of her dad’s vacation home, where they hide out to discuss their favorite books. In the second, Macy is working as a doctor and engaged to a single father, and she hasn’t spoken to Elliot since their breakup. But a chance encounter forces her to confront the truth: what happened to make Macy stop speaking to Elliot? Ultimately, they’re separated not by time or physical remoteness but by emotional distance—Elliot and Macy always kept their relationship casual because they went to different schools. And as a teen, Macy has more to worry about than which girl Elliot is taking to the prom. After losing her mother at a young age, Macy is navigating her teenage years without a female role model, relying on the time-stamped notes her mother left in her father’s care for guidance. In the present day, Macy’s father is dead as well. She throws herself into her work and rarely comes up for air, not even to plan her upcoming wedding. Since Macy is still living with her fiance while grappling with her feelings for Elliot, the flashbacks offer steamy moments, tender revelations, and sweetly awkward confessions while Macy makes peace with her past and decides her future.

With frank language and patient plotting, this gangly teen crush grows into a confident adult love affair.

Pub Date: April 10, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-5011-2801-1

Page Count: 416

Publisher: Gallery Books/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Jan. 22, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2018

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