When someone you love becomes a memory, the memory becomes a treasure.Unknown
Title: The Two Lives of Lydia Bird
Author: Josie Silver
Publisher: Random House Audio
Rarely have I enjoyed listening to an audiobook. Multi-tasking while listening to one causes me to rewind the audiobook constantly- infuriating and frustrating me. However, The Two Lives of Lydia Bird was a total exception. The narrator- Olivia Vinall, has brought the characters to life. She has a beautiful British accent, and her voice is captivating.
The Two Lives of Lydia Bird describes Lydia’s journey as she struggles to come to terms with the loss of her love- Freddie Hunter. Freddie and Lydia have known each other since the age of fourteen. And have been together for a decade. On Lydia’s twenty-eighth birthday, Freddie dies in a car accident. Lydia struggles with living a life where Freddie does not exist. However, with the help of his best friend, Jonah, and her sister, Elle, Lydia tries to open herself to life and second chances.
But then something happens. Lydia finds herself in a world where Freddie is very much alive. She gets another chance at her old life with Freddie. 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.
The book is a journey in itself. Olivia has given Lydia a voice, and every single time she says Freddie Hunter, she breaks the reader’s heart. The narrator has managed to imbibe these two words with so much pain, grief, and longing, that it tears you apart. I was obsessed with the audiobook, but more so, addicted to the narrator’s voice. Lydia’s journey is heartbreaking, but it is also inspiring in so many ways. She grapples with Freddie’s loss but manages to find strength in her family and Jonah.
The story is about finding oneself and entangling in some way from the identity of being in a relationship. Freddie was a significant part of Lydia’s life, and as she explores and rekindles relationships/friendships without Freddie, her struggle to relate is evident. When you have been with someone for a decade, it is challenging to imagine a life without them. They seep into your life, your relationships, your friendships, and your routines. The loss of a loved one leaves a gaping hole, and Lydia pieces her life together slowly with the support of family and friends. The author has described Lydia’s journey as she goes through all the phases that someone usually faces during grief – denial, anger, depression, and acceptance.
I have loved and adored every single character in the book- Lydia, Freddie, Jonah, Elle, Ryan, and others. They have all contributed significantly to the plot. The story is heartwarming and powerful.
I would rate this book a magical five out of five stars. A special shout out to the narrator, Olivia Vinall, for giving Lydia a voice. A definite recommendation that you choose this book in the audiobook format. And yes, do keep tissues handy.