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The Lonely Life of Biddy Weir

4.29  ·  Rating details ·  531 ratings  ·  90 reviews
A stark but uplifting story of bullying and redemption, for anyone who's ever been a weirdo.

Almost too terrified to grip the phone, Biddy Weir calls a daytime television show.

The subject is bullying, and Biddy has a story to tell.

Abandoned by her mother as a baby, Biddy lives in her own little world, happy to pass her time watching the birds - until Alison Fleming joins he
Paperback, 400 pages
Published April 14th 2016 by Twenty7 (first published 2016)
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Average rating 4.29  · 
Rating details
 ·  531 ratings  ·  90 reviews

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Katherine Sunderland
Apr 26, 2016 rated it it was amazing
There are about three books this year for which I have been desperate to tell the world about but have dreaded writing a review, feeling decidedly inarticulate in comparison to the beautiful writing I've been wallowing in and a definite inability to fully express the effect the author's work has had on me. This is one of those books!

"The Lonely Life of Biddy Weir" is not an easy book to read at times. We first meet Biddy, aged 30, making a telephone call to a chat show running a phone in about b
Louise Wilson
Nov 04, 2016 rated it really liked it
Biddy Weir calls a daytime television show. The subject is bullying and Biddy has a story to tell.

Biddy was abandoned by her mother when she was a baby. She lives in her own little world spending most of her time watching the birds.

When Alison Fleming joins her school she is popular, beautiful but also has a dangerous streak. Alison does not like people who don't fit in with her.

This is a good debut novel. It covers abuse and survival. One woman's fight with herself to accept who she really is.
Mar 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
While I was reading this book, I kept putting it down for a break but I couldn't stop thinking about poor Biddy.
Mar 31, 2017 rated it it was amazing
All my reviews can also be found at

Writing this review is incredibly daunting as nothing I say will in any way be as powerful as this absolutely amazing novel, nor do it justice.

Biddy Weir didn't get the best start in life. Abandoned by her mother when she was a baby, she's raised by her father who really doesn't know the first thing about girls and is somewhat emotionally stunted. But Biddy knows she's loved and is happy in her own little world. Until Alison Fleming joins her
Kaisha (The Writing Garnet)
All reviews can be found on my blog at

I have had to psych myself to write this particular review due to the nature of the storyline and my own personal memories because of it. It takes a lot of strength to read a novel with contains such emotional situations, especially when those situations are still incredibly raw for the reader.
Meet Biddy Weir; a girl who is extremely content in her own company and enjoys the simple things in life. After all, that is all
Jun 17, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction
This is a much more honest portrayal of bullying and how it affects teens than the suicide-romanticizing and offensive “Thirteen Reasons Why”. In this novel, you see how bullying harms someone as they turn into the saddest and weakest versions of themselves, and how it causes so much unnecessary obstruction of life. But, I guess most people think human life isn’t valuable till it’s physically gone; and no one gives a crap about what the survivors go through, mentally.
Jun 24, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: netgalley
I received a copy of this book for free through NetGalley

This one surprised me. I was instantly struck by the synopsis but I didn’t realise how much I would become engrossed by this story having never been bullied myself. The characters are dynamic and the story is emotionally raw. I will say it took me a little while to get into but about 15 – 20% in I was hooked.
Tracey Campton
Dec 29, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Loved this book. Could not put it down. Thank you Lesley Allen and looking forward to your next book!
Karen Whittard
Oct 26, 2016 rated it it was amazing
The lonely life of Biddy Weir

Wow, just wow.

Ok at the start of this year and up until rather recently I have been annoyed and disappointed by the books that I have read. For a massive book worm who has had her Head in a book and in the clouds since I could read this has been truly annoying and frustrating. That was until I found NetGalley. It made me look at books that I would never have read previously and by liking a description I have thought. What the hell why not give it a while. I have be
Apr 10, 2016 rated it really liked it
Short version - Powerful and moving - 4.5/5 I think.

Long version
I really liked the look of the blurb for this book however I confess initially I found it a little hard to get into. I'm not sure if it was the writing or the very simple narrative of how Biddy Weir became a (the) Bloody Weirdo but it didn't grab me. However around 10% of the way in that changed and I started to be drawn into Biddy's unusual (maybe) life. Her mother has left her, her father is an isolated and reserved character and
Mary Lou
Mar 22, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: irish
Biddy Weir, raised by her elderly father, appears to her school mates an outsider. Book smart but clueless and conversation-less on everything else, she becomes an obvious target for bullies, who haunt her from pre-teen right through her teenage years.
Lesley Allen has identified perfectly the way Biddy and victims of bullying are swallowed-up by the situation they find themselves in. Biddy absorbs their name for her, BW – bloody weirdo, and feels she is one, until it threatens to destroy her.
Brookes Moody
Dec 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This novel is what all great reading experiences should be: I was totally engrossed in a colorful, believable narrative, empathizing with the characters, able to relate the action of the book to my own life. Biddy's story stuck with me when I put the book down and I know I'll continue to think of it was a long while to come. Author Lesley Allen grounds this story in a very specific time and place, but even if you're not from Northern Ireland, or if you didn't grow up in the 1980s, what she vivid ...more
Mar 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book broke my heart. I loved it.
Jun 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I just loved this really sad story with brilliant characters and well written
Nov 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Who’d have thought a random selection at a book sale would turn out to be one of my favourite books I’ve read this year? The minute I finished this book, I knew I had to talk about it. I knew I had to share this gem with everyone I knew.

The Lonely Life of Biddy Weir by Lesley Allen tells the story about Biddy Weir, who is – as others might call her – a weirdo. We see the circumstances that cause Biddy to grow up as a truly lonely child in small-town Ballybrock. A big portion of the book is focus
Suze Lavender
Oct 25, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Biddy Weir is strange in the eyes of her peers. She doesn't have the right clothes, she doesn't have any social skills and she's extremely introvert. She's quite special with her fiery red hair and love for birds. Biddy is great at drawing and she enjoys creating. At home there's mainly silence, she and her dad hardly speak. Biddy hasn't got a mother, she left when Biddy was a baby and Biddy's father has no idea how he's supposed to raise a child. Therefore Biddy is different, which was never mu ...more
Anne Johnson
Feb 15, 2018 rated it liked it
I was totally drawn in to this story. A young girl with a difficult start in life and then the bullying. The description of the bullying is so accurate and compelling as indeed is impact upon this vulnerable young girl. This part of the novel is compelling and thought provoking - then we shift to Biddies twenties.
Her relationship with Terri the counsellor is contrived as is her emergence from the damage done by the bullying. The conclusion is unbelievable and weak 0- despite all of my reserv
Caroline Nicholson
Oct 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Fabulous book read this when it was first published and went back to read again. Ms. Allen has a way with words and I look forward to reading more from her in the future!
Jun 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is one brilliant book. I found myself thinking about Biddy on a daily basis and wanted to keep on reading to see if she'd be ok. It is heart wrenching and it makes you wonder how anyone could be so cruel as they are to Biddy.
Aug 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is a really sad book, but a good read about bullying. It makes me sad to think that children are subject to this every single day! If reading this book helps you to make a difference in the life of someone who is being bullied, then everyone should read it.
Lisbeth Davies
Nov 10, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Absolutely magical, probably my book of the decade.

Review to follow.
Marie Roberts
Nov 22, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Excellent read A real page turner Couldn't predict the end
Avril Dalton
Feb 01, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A very emotional and raw story about Bullying. Such a sad portrayal of the victim and how she had to endure years of torment. I enjoyed the story though.
Tim Regan
Feb 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mairead Hearne (
The Lonely Life of Biddy Weir is the debut novel by Lesley Allen, published in e-format in March 2016 and will be released in paperback later in the year. I received my ARC from Bonnier Zaffre Publishing & NetGalley in return for an honest review.

‘A stark but uplifting story of bullying and redemption, for anyone who’s ever been a weirdo.

Almost too terrified to grip the phone, Biddy Weir calls a daytime television show.

The subject is bullying, and Biddy has a story to tell.

Abandoned by her mothe
Sep 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
This book took me a while to read, not because I wasn't enjoying it, I found it a fantastically written story, and I loved Biddy, so much, it was the subject matter that kept me from wanting to get back to it whenever I got interrupted.
Bullying is a big issue these days and is currently getting a lot of media attention, and rightly so, it really does affect people, not just as it is occuring, but can follow them into adulthood and beyond, affecting their entire lives, and this book is an excelle
Nicole Leahy
Jun 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Prepare to get sucked in. The need to find out how poor, lonely Biddy ends up is real. I loved this book and struggled to put it down.
Doreen Finn
Jun 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a wonderful book, and should be essential reading for anyone who's ever been young and at school. Lesley Allen has created a wholly believable character in Biddy, a kind, clever girl whose life is made miserable by others. Highly recommended. (an ideal book for Transition Year English)
Jun 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, audiobooks, ya
Heart-wrenching and I teared up several times, but I absolutely loved it!
Nov 28, 2017 rated it really liked it
Have you ever been bullied?
Whether you have or not this story takes you on a difficult journey of mental bullying and the effect it can have on that persons life, yes this book has a sad start, and at times a difficult read because of the subject. I did enjoy it immensely.
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Lesley Allen lives in Bangor, County Down, with her teenage daughter. She is a freelance copywriter and the press officer and assistant programme developer for Open House Festival. Following the completion of her degree in Drama and English, Lesley spent several years working in PR and marketing before embarking on a freelance career. Whilst crafting words for other people has been her bread and b

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There's something great about a paperback book: They're perfect book club choices, you can throw them in your bag and go, and they've been out in...
50 likes · 13 comments
“Biddy Weir: I can be normal, she thought, as she moved her body to the music with increasing ease. I can. I can do normal things like drink Coke, and buy jeans, and wear a bra & dance. I can have fun. This is fun, and I like it. Maybe I'm not a complete weirdo after all.” 0 likes
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