Blanche’s Book Club: ‘The Two Lives of Lydia Bird’.

Another week — another week in quarantine for me — and it’s a busy one, and likely a short one, depending on your plans for the holiday weekend! I don’t have much planned, but I know I’ve got rose in my fridge, veggie burgers, and some sparklers 🙂

I spent a majority of my weekend reading. I’ve read 28 books already this year and given the COVID situation in Texas, it looks like I’ll read at least 28 more before the year is over. So, let’s jump into the latest read by Blanche’s Book Club: “The Two Lives of Lydia Bird” by Josie Silver. Here’s the book’s decision:

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.

I wasn’t planning on reading this book. I didn’t really read the description, but I kept seeing it all over social media… and eventually it all wore me down and I saw it was available through the library’s digital shelf. So, why not? What else do I have to do?

I likely wouldn’t have chosen a book about death, but I did, so, here we are. The book goes from present life to… other life in often alternating chapters. At first, it seemed a little gimmicky and I wondered how long the book could survive.

But, things switched up and honestly, it got a little addicting. There were some things that happened that seemed a little unreal, but that’s a fiction novel for you.

Honestly, I liked this book a lot more than I expected to, and as someone who’s still on the journey of grief, this is a very interesting concept. I have been visited by those I’ve lost in my dreams, and sometimes it really does seem like an alternate world where they’re still very much alive. I just never thought of it that way!

The next read by Blanche’s Book Club is “The Vacationers” by Emma Straub.

For more book recommendations, be sure to subscribe to the blog (look to the right) and follow me on Goodreads @thebitterlemon – where I share more of my book picks.

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