Friday, February 14, 2020

Review: The Two Lives of Lydia Bird

The Two Lives of Lydia Bird
Josie Silver
Expected publication date: March 3, 2020
In this next captivating love story from the #1 New York Times bestselling author of One Day in December, a young woman is reunited with her late fiancé in a parallel life. But is this happy ending the one she really wants?

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. - from Goodreads
I received this book for free from Goodreads Giveaways.

After completely loving Josie Silver's debut, One Day in December, I knew her next book would be a highly anticipated read for me.  While I didn't love it as much as her first, this book was still a solid read.

On Lydia's 28th birthday, her fiance Freddy is killed in a car accident.  She is adrift, unsure how to move forward with her life.  Then, after she begins taking sleeping pills, Lydia discovers that somehow, in her dreams, she's able to continue the life she and Freddy were meant to have together.  However, is that still what she really wants? 

First, I want to talk about Silver's writing - it's so readable and relatable, yet every word and phrase is imbued with so much emotion.  It's so easy to get lost in her stories and swept away in the writing.  I could have finished this book in a few hours, but I wanted to savor it.

You can't help but feel for Lydia when we first meet her.  She's just lost her fiance, she can barely leave the house they recently purchased together, and the wedding and honeymoon they were eagerly planning will never happen.  Her grief is so palpable.  When she realizes what the sleeping pills allow her to do, be with Freddy again, she's tempted to keep taking them, but she realizes pretty early on that this isn't the magic fix she initially thought it was.  She can't just sleep all day, ignoring her real life, but it was still interesting to see what days she chose to take the pills and how even the "dream world" wasn't quite how she imagined her life would be before the accident.

The secondary characters are pretty wonderful in this story.  Lydia's coworkers, sister, and mother are so understanding of her grief and just want to make her life easier.  Then there's also the character of Jonah, who survived the crash that Freddy didn't, and Lydia  has to come to terms with their complicated friendship.

After loving the first 2/3 of the book, I unfortunately thought the story kind of fell apart a little in the last section.  The pacing slowed way down and there were parts that didn't quite fit or seem necessary.  Overall, though, I enjoyed Lydia's journey through this simultaneously heartbreaking and heartwarming story.

4 stars

21 comments:

  1. This sounds like a pretty emotional but also unique book. Never really read something like it before I think. Great review!!

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  2. NOOOOOO! I hate when the story falls apart. *sad face* I had high hopes for this as One Day in December was a favorite. I guess it was still ok, if you gave it 4 stars thought. Heartbreaking and heartwarming is my thing, so I imagine I will still read it.

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    1. It was still a really good read and I think you'll enjoy it!

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  3. I am so excited for this one! Hopefully I’m a little happier with the last part of the story than you were.

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  4. I hate it when the ending lets the story down, but it sounds like this was still really enjoyable! The writing especially sounds wonderful. Thanks for sharing!

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    1. The writing was so, so good! You're welcome, Tracy!

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  5. Sorry to hear this one wasn't as good as One Day in December. I may get it from the library instead of rushing out to buy a copy. Thanks for the honest review!

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  6. Wow this sounds really interesting. What a conundrum, to have to decide how and when to revisit that other life, sounds like. Sorry to hear it faltered a bit towards the end though. That's a bummer.

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    1. Yeah... at least the very ending kind of redeemed it, the last section felt like a bit of a misstep.

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  7. Ah, that's such a bummer that the ending was a let down for you. I have this one coming up soon so I'm curious to see what I think of it. I'll definitely lower my expectations a bit since this is an anticipated read for me as well. Congrats on winning a Goodreads giveaway though. That's exciting!

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    1. Thanks, Suzanne! I'm excited to hear what you think of it!

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  8. One Day in December had me sobbing by the end. SOBBING. It was so bittersweet... A Goodreads Giveaway -- go you! I'm super bummed this one falls apart at the end. :(

    Lindsi @ Do You Dog-ear? 💬

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    1. I was so excited to find out I won this one, because I really loved One Day in December.

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  9. Sorry to hear the last third of the story wasn't as good as the beginning. I love books with powerful characters, especially the secondary characters it definitely gives depth to the story. Grief is also a powerful topic for books!

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    1. Yes, secondary characters can really make or break a story!

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  10. I didn't really expect this book to be the way you've described it -- it's a lot more (darker-ish) emotional than I expected.I'm interested to see the choices she makes -- and that it isn't as straightforward as I thought.

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    1. It definitely had some interesting moments that I wasn't expecting!

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  11. I'm sorry the story fell a bit apart in the last 2/3rd, but glad you enjoyed the story overall! I've been wondering whether or not to pick this one up - it sounds quite heartbreaking so I'm waiting for the right mood to try it :)

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I'm so glad you stopped by, and I would love to hear your thoughts! Comments are always greatly appreciated!