The Two Lives of Lydia Bird will slowly crumble your heart to unfold the cohesion of the soul.
Josie Silver returns with her latest romance novel, The Two Lives of Lydia Bird. The contemporary novel follows the aftermath of Lydia Bird’s tragic event: the death of Freddie, her fiance, on her birthday. The readers follow Lydia Bird’s journey to overcome grief with the help of her mother, sister, and the couple’s best friend, Jonah. Lydia’s life is split into two when her alternative reality explores life with Freddie.
The book cover is delicate and simple, but there’s more than meets the eye. My eyes drifted straight to the illustrated couple on the book cover, not paying close attention to the illustration above the title: Lydia seated alone. The book cover alone connects the solidary of Lydia’s two lives, but the cover can fool readers into a lighthearted journey.
As a reader, Lydia’s journey does not have a pin-point destination. Lydia never really pursues a specific goal for herself: which takes the reader into various stages of grief and love. The journey is unforeseeable, yet predictable. I got lost in the current events without getting attached to the future like Lydia did. Lydia’s grief begins with a warning, but a reader is never prepared for the next stage. I simply got lost in Lydia’s world. I found myself holding my breath as Lydia’s emotions hit hard. As readers, we see the worse of Lydia as the days become weeks.
Lydia’s alternative reality with Freddie, called Asleep, is not entirely cloud-nine. Her stages of love are tested in the new world. While Lydia’s heart beams with love and hope, she experiences small plot holes, like a jump in timeline, and plot twists here. The nostalgia is weary to Lydia when she comes back to the real world. It can be seen and felt after each dream.
Towards the middle of the story, I can feel the tension of a bittersweet love through the diction. The shift is a becoming of change for Lydia, which I was very fond of. A new part of Lydia was seen and heard in forthcoming chapters. It was adaptable for readers who push for change, but not for characters in the story. The “wake-up call” Lydia experienced shocked characters in the book as well as myself. Frankly, Lydia now has nothing to lose, but herself.
The stronghold of the book is the writing Josie Silver displays. It connects the reader deeply to Lydia despite not necessarily having a similar experience. The Two Lives is an easy read, but the description of Lydia’s emotions and her experiences will slow things down. I read the book before bed and I found myself recount the moments of each chapter in my head on repeat. The book partly feels like a wave washing over you. The hurtle of emotions takes time away from reality. After riding the wave, Silver’s wit and delight will tranquilize into peace with Lydia right by your side.
Overall, I thought the book would try to move the world for happily ever after. I was wrong. The Two Lives of Lydia Bird grasped a new meaning of self-affirmation and change. I did not expect the book to deeply impact my feelings, but it did.
Featured Image via @RandomHouse.