HomeAll postsTwo Lives of Lydia Bird by Josie Silver

Two Lives of Lydia Bird by Josie Silver

the Two Lives of Lydia BirdA review by Emma Streeton

When I read Josie Silver’s previous book One Day In December I was charmed. So when I saw her latest release was available I was eager to see if this one was as good. I was not disappointed one bit. Why? Because The Two Lives of Lydia Bird is an even better, more addictive read! Don’t be put off by the cover which would lead you to believe this is a soppy love story. It is so much more than that.

The story follows the protagonist Lydia Bird as she struggles to deal with life in the aftermath of her fiancé Freddie’s sudden and tragic death on her 27th birthday. In the waking world we see Lydia barely functioning, moving through her life with little hope and joy. She is given pills to help her sleep and once the pills are prescribed two separate narratives begin: awake and asleep. Awake, Lydia has to learn to live without Freddie and experience new firsts without him. Asleep, Lydia finds herself having lucid dreams in which her life with Freddie continues.

Lydia is torn between these two worlds and alternating between the two quickly begins to take an emotional and physical toll. Lydia somehow needs to find her way through to a place where she can begin to rebuild her life.

Grief and Loss

This novel is a powerful and emotional tale of love and grief. Silver portrays beautifully the heart wrench of loss. Through the pace of the story, Silver takes the reader on a journey of grief. She highlights how all-encompassing it can be but also, most importantly, how someone can slowly learn to live again. Lydia’s grief is all consuming and the reader really does feel her pain and despair. However, despite the subject matter, the story really is more uplifting than depressing.

Strong Characters

Silver develops characters that you can not help but get attached to. I really liked Lydia as a protagonist. She is complex yet authentic and has flaws which make her feel more relatable. She is a character I connected with. I was constantly championing her to find a way through her grief and this made the novel a real page turner.

The supporting characters, notably Lydia’s mum and sister, as well as her lifelong friend Jonah, are equally adorable. Through these characters, Silver cleverly portrays how relationships can be deepened but also strained by grief of another.


Silver writes from the heart. A thoughtful love story that moved me yet also left me feeling hopeful and uplifted. For those romantics out there it is an absolute must read for 2020! It is thoroughly gripping and a bit of a tearjerker. A cracking book to lose yourself in! You have truly done it again Josie Silver.

Other books you will enjoy if you like this one: If I Never Met You by Mhairi McFarlene and The Two Of Us by Andy Jones.

Book details

Rating: 4.5 out of 5
ISBN: 9780241986172
Imprint: Penguin eBooks
Format: paperback, ebook
Published: 30 January 2020
Categories: Romance, Contemporary Fiction, Romance, Grief & Loss


Nalini is an award-winning writer and artist as well as managing editor of Dark Matter Zine.


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