Our Review

‘You don’t get over losing someone you love in six months or two years or twenty, but you do have to find a way to carry on living without feeling as if everything that comes afterwards is second best. Some people walk up mountains, others throw themselves out of planes. Everyone has to find their own way back, and if they’re lucky, they’ll have people who love them to hold their hand.’

At 6.47pm on 14th March 2018 Lydia Bird’s life changed forever, and on a day in December 2019, Josie Silver stole a piece of hearts.  We were captivated with One Day in December last Christmas, and this year, we immersed ourselves in The Two Lives of Lydia Bird, a story of first love, loss, and self-discovery. A story with a powerful message about grief and moving forward and about having the support and love of family and friends to guide you through the pain.

‘We stare at each other, breathless, wonderous, and I realise it isn’t rain on his eyelashes, he’s crying.’

Anyone who has experienced a loss will connect to Lydia’s story and share in her desperation to keep the memory alive of her first and only love, Freddie Hunter, a man who entered her life in a whirlwind when they were only 14.  A love that began at innocent and clumsy adolescence to present time when they’re on the cusp of marriage, ready to spend the rest of their lives together, sharing a true and unwavering love; when it’s all cruelly ripped away.

‘That’s the deal we make when we love someone, isn’t it? Somewhere along the path, one person is always going to have to find a way to carry on without the other.’

Lydia and Freddie’s love story is told in an unusual and interesting way, in parallel timelines which kept us on our toes and posed the question; how far would you go to hold on to the love of your life? How far would you remove yourself from reality, how much of yourself would you be prepared to lose, to spend more precious time with someone you love with all your heart?

‘It’s cathartic sometimes, crying and at other times it’s the loneliest thing in the world…’

Josie Silver tells Lydia’s story with heartfelt emotion, sweet warm wit and heartbreaking honesty, making Lydia’s grief a living palpable part of the story which made our hearts ache, yet at the same time, gave us hope for Lydia’s future as she is forced to make life-altering decisions.

We loved the family dynamics – Lydia’s Mum, sister and brother in law provided some much-needed lightheartedness to what was a quite heavy topic. A person in Lydia’s periphery provided us with so much hope and love, we can’t even tell you how much of our heart belonged to this person.

“No one will ever be Freddie, but that doesn’t mean you’ll never be happy again, sis.”

Josie Silver is such a gifted and beautiful storyteller, and her way of infusing so much feeling into her stories have thus far, held us captivated as we once again fell under her talented spell. The Two Lives of Lydia Bird is a powerfully reflective story and it’s one that will make you smile, ache, laugh and cry as you champion for Lydia to find the will to find herself in the face of crippling grief.

‘Grief is an odd thing. It’s mine and no one can do it for me, but there’s been this whole supporting cast of silent actors around me in the wings.’

Synopsis

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.

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.

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