Ah, Josie Silver knows how to pull at your heart strings. It is one of those books where certain chapters will actually make you tear up. I’ll openly admit that there was a few chapters that got me, along with a few tears shed at the end. ALL THE FEELS.
Let’s start with the main character, Lydia Bird. She’d been with her fiancée, Freddie, for almost a decade and on her twenty-eighth birthday, he dies in a car accident – whilst his best friend, Jonah, survived only with injuries. As you can imagine, she plunges into grief and to say her life falls apart would be an understatement. I would say that Silver addresses grief throughout this book brilliantly – as a reader, you fully live and breathe Lydia’s grief through every chapter.
The chapters flit, between Lydia’s real life and the life that is created by sleeping pills – the lucid dreaming of her life with Freddie, where the past few months and his death hadn’t happened – they were still on track to get married.
Silver uses the sleeping pills to offer Lydia the pathway into the dreaming and you can see how this allows her to escape the challenging landscape of her grief without Freddie. In her mind, she lives her ‘real life’ through the sleeping pills, where Freddie exists and their life is the same. Some may think that it is a bit far-fetched, but I’d disagree. It simply shows how Lydia looks back upon their relationship with rose-tinted glasses, wanting to remember the good times and how they could have been in their future.
But of course, this is quite problematic for Lydia and we begin to see the impact that this then has upon her supportive family members. It’s a complicated relationship with Jonah also, him and Lydia had been friends longer than him and Freddie had been, yet she struggles to face him.
The book does become a little slow in the middle of the plot, but I do think that Silver uses it to portray the inbetween stage, where Lydia could move forward but really isn’t sure how to do so.
If you’re a fan of novels which take you on a self-discovery journey, I would say that this is one for you. I fell hook-line and sinker for it.
Have you read The Two Lives of Lydia Bird? What did you think?
Connect with me on social media