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The Two Lives of Lydia Bird

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Goodreads Choice Award
Nominee for Best Romance (2020)
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 her twenty-eighth birthday, Freddie died in a car accident.

So now it's just Lydia, and all she wants to do is 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 across the doorway of 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.

Written with Josie Silver's trademark warmth and wit, The Two Lives of Lydia Bird is a powerful and thrilling love story about the what-ifs that arise at life's crossroads, and what happens when one woman is given a miraculous chance to answer them.

369 pages, Hardcover

First published January 30, 2020

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About the author

Josie Silver

6 books6,343 followers
Josie lives in a small English town with her husband, their two sons, plus a changing cast of cats, dogs and fish. She writes full-time in a studio at the bottom of the garden.

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5 stars
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Displaying 1 - 30 of 7,627 reviews
Profile Image for jessica.
2,508 reviews31k followers
March 7, 2020
this is a complicated book for me to rate and review.

my immediate reaction is that i enjoyed it - hence the 4 stars. i must be a glutton for heartache, because ‘loss of a significant other’ is a romance trope i actually quite enjoy, even though it breaks my heart every single time. there is just something so comforting about seeing someone deal with unimaginable grief and become stronger because of it. the heart surely is a resilient thing.

that being said, if i took the time to dissect and nitpick this much more thoroughly, i would find some aspects of the story that are a tad problematic (mainly how freddies character is handled towards the end). but i think i will just keep my thoughts focused on the positives of this book and see it for the heartfelt and touching story that it can be. because this truly is a great representation of grief and coping and learning to love again.

3.5 stars
Profile Image for Irena BookDustMagic.
609 reviews477 followers
October 7, 2022
Perfection. That is the one word I would use to describe The Two Lives of Lydia Bird.

This novel has stolen my heart with it’s beautiful storyline, with the intensity of emotions it awoke in me.
I honestly can’t even remember when was the last time I fell in love with the book so hard…

If I’m not mistaken, it was back in 2018 when I read One Day in December, that was one of my favourite reads that year.

If nothing (but it’s not nothing, it’s everything) this book showed just how amazing Josie Silver of a writer is.
She wrote two novels, and they both were stunningly written with emotional, heart shaking but beautiful plots, and characters one can’t help but get attached to.
I now am sure I don’t want to ever miss a piece of work written by this incredible author! I want to support her as long as my eyes can see, as long as my brain can recognize the sentences…

I loved the magical element that is the foundation of the story, but also how it affected the main character and the way the story developed.

The story is written in first person, with Lydia as a narrator.
It is beautifully written and even though the book has more than 400 pages it didn’t feel like it.
I wished it was longer, so I could spend more time in this world, with these wonderful characters.

I rarely cry while reading, but this book made me shed some tears.
That one scene, with lighting up candles, was especially emotional. It was my favourite scene in the whole story.

The story wrapped up in the most satisfying way. I hoped it would end up that way, and when it did, I was overwhelmed in a good way. I approve it 100%.

I will mention only one more thing: I want to praise Josie Silver for mentioning my county, Croatia. I was in Makarska many times in my life and I loved reading about it in one of the most beautiful books.

In the end, if I could make you want to read one book from my recommendations list, I would chose this one, because I am sure it will touch many hearts and I hope it will move yours too.
I am so thankful I had an opportunity to read this wonderful novel and I truly believe I will carry it in that part of my heart reserved only for favourite stories, for the rest of my life.

Read this and more reviews on my blog https://bookdustmagic.com
Profile Image for Susanne.
1,157 reviews36.5k followers
December 31, 2019
5 Lovely Lyrical Magical Stars

Do you believe in Magic? In the possibility of getting back the life you lost?

For Lydia Bird, that possibility becomes a reality when her best friend and fiancé Freddie Hunter passes away in a car crash and she discovers a magical way to “be” with him again.

Best Friends, the love of each other's lives, and hopeless romantics. Lydia and Freddie had it all, until one day, that love was taken away from them, leaving Lydia’s life in shambles. Her mother, her sister and Jonah Jones (her other best friend), are left to pick up the pieces. Lydia doesn’t know how she’ll survive, until “it” happens. Until she discovers a lovely and captivating way to “be” with Freddie. What happens when her “real” life calls to her? The place where she has begun to find her true self, to let go and begin again.

Torn in two, Lydia must make a choice.

In “The Two Lives of Lydia Bird” I found myself completely taken in, hypnotized and mesmerized, by Lydia, the idea of magic and true love. Tears fell and I no ability to stop them. I fell for Lydia, Freddie, Jonah, Elle, Ryan and all of Lydia’s coworkers. This novel cast a spell over me and then some. It is lovely, lyrical, heartwarming and heart-wrenching and I loved it with all of my heart. I loved “One Day in December” - Josie Silver’s debut, and was eagerly awaiting her follow up and this does not disappoint.

This was a delightful buddy read with Kaceey, (of course)! Thanks for sharing in this magical read with me Kaceey!

A Huge thank you goes out to Colleen Nuccio at Random Publishing House - Ballantine, NetGalley and Josie Silver for the arc.

Published on Goodreads and NetGalley on 12.25.19.
Profile Image for JanB .
1,127 reviews2,293 followers
Shelved as 'dnf'
March 1, 2020
I read to 53%, and was completely bored so I started skimming. I then read the last 5% and realized I could not care less what happened between 53% and the ending so I set it aside.

I enjoyed the authors last book but this one was not for me. I’m leaving it unrated.
Profile Image for Kaceey.
1,034 reviews3,552 followers
January 5, 2020
A beautiful, hypnotic love story!

Lucky Lydia! She has it all. Let’s start with her charming Fiancé Freddy, then there’s her best friend (and Freddies’) since they were school kids, Jonah. And let’s not forget her dear mom and sister. She’s positively over-the-moon happy with her picture-perfect life.
Today is Lydias’ Birthday. But there won’t be anything happy about this day. Life is about to take a serious turn for the worst after her Freddie is involved in a tragic accident

Lydia is in the grips of immense grief and finds it quite impossible to move on.
Finally her sister steps in, taking her to get some much needed help. First step... sleep! If Lydia can just sleep a few hours then maybe the healing process can begin.
She’s given a prescription for a trial medication. One that will let her sleep deeply and dream vividly! But are these really just dreams?! Is she still able to have the life she always wanted?

When I read Josie Silver’s previous book One Day In December I was captivated. So when I saw her latest release was available, I was first in line! And yup…I loved this one even more!

Josie Silver writes from the heart. A profound love story that touched my soul and left me once again in a puddle of tears. An absolute must read for 2020!

A buddy read with Susanne that we both loved💖

Thank you to NetGalley Random House Publishing Group - Ballantine and Josie Silver for an ARC to read and review
Profile Image for Chelsea (chelseadolling reads).
1,474 reviews19.2k followers
March 3, 2020
This was pretty much exactly what you would expect it to be and it was (mostly) delightful! My only real complaint about this one is that it almost felt like it went on a little long for my personal tastes. I was completely gripped for the first half (seriously, I was crying like every other chapter), but I'd be lying if I didn't say that the last third of the book lost my attention at times because the story dragged on for a bit too long. Overall, this wasn't a perfect book, but it was a surprisingly fun read given the subject matter and I do recommend if you're into romance and journeys of self discovery.

TW: death of a loved one, miscarriage, drug use (sleeping pills)
Profile Image for Paromjit.
2,543 reviews24.6k followers
November 27, 2019
Josie Silver follows the fabulous One Day in December with this in depth study of the heartbreaking grief and loss experienced by Lydia Bird when on her 28th birthday, her fiance, Freddie Hunter dies in a car accident, whilst his best friend, Jonah Jones, whilst injured, lives to walk free. Lydia lived with Freddie in Shropshire, her whole life had revolved around him since they were fourteen years old at school and they were planning their wedding for the following year. To say that Lydia's life falls apart is an understatement, the overwhelming grief is too much for her, and adjusting to life without Freddie is not a scenario she can accept. Silver uses the device of sleeping pills that offer Lydia the surprising pathway through lucid dreaming to continue her life with Freddie. This allows her to escape the harsh, unforgiving landscape of grief and avoid passing through that challenging process sentiently.

However, it means that her waking hours are to be endured and survived whilst she lives her real life with the love of her life with Freddie in her sleeping hours. This is, of course, problematic for all those who love Lydia, her mum, and her best friend and older sister, Elle. It takes her some time to become aware that they are supporting her through the wreckage of her life, the guardians of her sanity. Her feelings towards Jonah are complicated and she just can't face him, even though her friendship with him is even longer than that with Freddie. Through the years they have been a close knit trio, even though Lydia had resented him at times. It is Jonah that helps her by getting her to attend a grief workshop when she really did not want to. It takes almost 3 months before a fragile Lydia can make herself go back to work, only to understand that Phil, Ryan, Julia and Dawn have been there for her in ways that had just not crossed her mind.

It begins to dawn on Lydia that she has reasons to live in the real world and slowly acknowledge the hitherto impossible concept that perhaps there will be someone for her after Freddie. It is oh so hard for her to let go of Freddie but having to live without him is beginning to change her, she can no longer be the same woman she used to be, she must inevitably evolve. Josie Silver writes a compulsive tear jerker, of a young woman having to come to terms with her world falling apart, struggling through the process of grief until she is strong enough to pick up the pieces of her life and forge a new path for herself. It is Silver's wonderful writing, with bags of humour and her brilliant characters that makes this such a great read and I have no doubt that so many readers will absolutely love this. Many thanks to Penguin UK for an ARC.
Profile Image for Debra .
2,198 reviews34.9k followers
March 4, 2020
3.5 stars

Lydia thought she and Freddie would be together forever. Happily, ever after was her goal. But life had other plans. On her twenty-eighth birthday, Freddie died in a car accident. Initially, she shuts down and doesn't want to move on, doesn't want to go out. Her sister and Mother try everything. Finally, Lydia agrees to get some sleep in her room and NOT the couch. This is where things get interesting. In her dreams, Freddie is alive, and they continue living their lives together.

Soon, Lydia begins to go out into the world, but she also can't wait to get back and go to sleep. Finally, with the help of Jonah, her sister, and Mother, Lydia begins to live again. How can she move on? What will life be like without Freddie? Will she ever be able to live again?

I loved One Day in December and couldn't wait to get my hands on this book. This one lacked the magic and pull of that book, but I still found this one to be enjoyable. Mainly because I could relate to Lydia in this book. In my 20's I was engaged, and my fiancé died in a car accident, so this one hit close to home with me. Lydia's grief resonated with me and I could relate to her grieving process. I thought Josie Silver did a great job with this.

I will say that this one got a little slow in the middle and I struggled to maintain attention. I would have liked it to move a little bit faster at this point. The highlights for me were how grief as handled and the "dream world" that Lydia lived in with Freddie. I also loved the relationship between Lydia, her mother, and sister.

This book deals with loss, grief, moving on, starting over, family and love.

Thank you to Random House Publishing Group - Ballantine and NetGalley who provided me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. My thoughts and opinions are my own.

Profile Image for Larry H.
2,481 reviews29.4k followers
March 31, 2020
Gotta love a book that has you sobbing in the wee hours of the morning!! Such was the case with Josie Silver's new book, The Two Lives of Lydia Silver .

Life can change in a split second. One second Lydia was waiting for her fiancé, Freddie, to arrive at her birthday dinner; the next second she learns that he was killed in a car accident on the way.

"It's probably for the best if the last time you do something momentous passes you by unheralded: the last time my mother collected me at the school gate, her hand reassuring around my smaller one, the last time my father remembered my birthday. The last time I spoke to Freddie Hunter as he dashed back to see me on my twenty-eighth birthday. Do you know what the last words he said to me were? Over and out."

Lydia and Freddie have been a part of each other’s lives since high school, and she has loved him since she was 14. She doesn’t know how to get through a day, let alone the rest of her life without him, but her family and friends try to help her navigate her grief.

One day she discovers a world where Freddie is still alive, and there, her life goes on from that fatal night. She cherishes every additional moment with Freddie and gets to envision picking out her wedding dress, the simple moments of sharing a life together. Little by little, though, she begins to see that even the fairytale life she's witnessing has its rough spots in unexpected places.

As she takes tentative steps to regain control of her life, she has to decide: live for what could have been despite its challenges, or live for now, and be present for those who love you. It’s a difficult decision for Lydia to make.

"There isn't a handy grief blueprint. You don't get over losing someone you love in six months or two years or twenty, but you do have to find a way to carry on living without feeling as if everything that comes afterward is second best."

Sure, the premise of the book is a little unrealistic, but I just found it so moving and beautifully told. I didn’t always love Lydia’s character but I just loved this story, and I so enjoy the way Josie Silver writes, having been totally besotted with her debut novel, One Day in December .

Check out my list of the best books I read in 2019 at https://itseithersadnessoreuphoria.blogspot.com/2020/01/the-best-books-i-read-in-2019.html.

Check out my list of the best books of the decade at https://itseithersadnessoreuphoria.blogspot.com/2020/01/my-favorite-books-of-decade.html.

See all of my reviews at itseithersadnessoreuphoria.blogspot.com.

Follow me on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/the.bookishworld.of.yrralh/.
Profile Image for Nilufer Ozmekik.
2,131 reviews39.3k followers
February 23, 2023
Okay, here we go!

Confessions :

I’m a chicken shit who never scares from horror movies but scares the hell of watching, reading tear jerker, heart wrenching movies and books! If I try to wear my big girl pants during my read or binge watch , I probably sh*t them!

Some people are adrenaline addict like me enjoy facing her fears but reject to face her inner emotional turmoil.

So I procrastinated to read this book so long as like I rejected to watch Love Story, P. S. I love you ( eventually I read books and watch adaptations. But it took too long) because I turn into a blotchy, inconsolable, ugly, red nosed monster when I start to cry and I never stop ! During my crying, I stress- eat any junk food I find in the house or neighbors’ house ( that’s why they plastered my photos on the trees at the neighborhood to warn the kids give their sugar stash to me without fight and run away if they see me get closer) and I also start singing ( that’s the worst part. Most of the people try to cut their ears with Van Gogh style operation not to hear me)

So you got the clear picture of me: ugly crying monster who is afraid of reading sad stories!

But finally I read the one of the most anticipated romance books of the year and Goodreads choice awards nominee!

Losing your love of your life and living in two parallel universes: reminding me of Kristin Harmel’s “ Life intended” and it gives partly Rebecca Serle’s “ In five years” book and “Sliding Doors” movie vibes!

I always enjoy this kind of “what if” theme stories with inspirational, motivational messages which end with hopeful, awakening conclusion.

In this book we witness true love of Lydia and Freddie. For 14 years they were together and a tragic car accident tear them apart. Lydia cannot move on after the loss of her loved one! She barely breathes without him but she finds a way to live two universes: at one of them, her love of her life is alive!

I actually loved the characters! I ached for them and as I expected I cried a lot! I was a mess! Despicable mess!

But... yes this is unpopular reviewer speaking : I found it tooooooo loooong! I wish at least 100 pages of this book could have been emitted! The pacing gets slow, slower, slowest... Bam! Yes, my head hit the coffee table! My husband found me at this position, snoring and dripping saliva.

The long pages, extra slow pacing ruined the magic ! I liked the conclusion of the story but till I reached that part I literally groveled too much!

Positive things: characters, plot idea, self discovery theme

Negative things: long, repetitive story telling, lack of romance, more of self help direction!

So I’m giving my three stars bu focusing on positive parts but I wish this book could be a little shorter without unnecessary wordy chapters because the author is talented story teller who can play with the strings of our hearts by writing poignant, genuine stories and memorable characters!

I still enjoyed it but I expected something more powerful and remarkable! I guess I didn’t get what I truly dreamed of.
Profile Image for Kim ~ It’s All About the Thrill.
522 reviews620 followers
March 16, 2020
Well this was a hell of an emotional roller coaster! I spent much of the book confused and then BAM 💥 it clicked and it brought me to tears… anyone that has suffered a loss can relate. The ending is .... fabulous ❤️

This is a very emotionally charged read for me. Like I said, most of the book had me confused and a bit frustrated until I figured out what was really going on with Lydia Bird. Now nobody truly knows what is going on with a character, except the author themselves. So we all have a personal perception of what we think unless it is completely spelled out for us. So this was my take on Lydia and it crushed me and then the ending made me smile.

So odd to struggle a bit throughout a book and then have it be a 5 star read. I know, it seems weird but hear me out. The book is split into chapters of "asleep" and "awake." I loved the awake chapters but the asleep chapters...well I was scratching my head going umm ok. Until I figured out what the sleep chapters really meant- or so I think.

Lydia would fall asleep and dream her fiancee Freddie was alive and well and they were living their life. In the awake chapters, Lydia would have to face the grim reality - that Freddie died suddenly while on the way to her birthday party. There is no Freddie and Lydia.

As many of us, I have faced a loss of a loved one that tore my heart out, destroyed my life. Everyone deals with grief differently. For me, sleep was like an escape from the terrible reality. Then there is the moment when you wake in the morning and you lie in bed for a minute and you are groggy still. You spend every single moment thinking of your loved one and this is the one moment in the day that your mind doesn't remember that they are gone...and then it does and you think "oh yeah." I feel like Lydia's sleep chapters were the same. It was her way of dealing with her grief. As time goes on she slowly needs this escape less and less.

Realizing this and then the ending was so heart touching that it quickly got bumped up to a 5 star read for me. Lydia Bird I loved you even though your story stirred up way too many feels. A beautiful story and I loved, loved, loved this ending.
Profile Image for Terrie  Robinson.
377 reviews547 followers
April 26, 2021
"The Two Lives of Lydia Bird" by Josie Silver is a story of loss, grief and finding hope for the future!

Lydia Bird is in love with her Fiancé Freddie Hunter! They've been together forever! Well, almost forever, since they were 14 years old.

Today is Lydia's twenty-eighth birthday and she's expecting Freddie any minute now to celebrate together. One problem though, Freddie dies in a tragic car accident and never arrives.

Now Lydia is without Freddie, all alone, crying her eyes out and hiding from the world. She's paralyzed with grief. She doesn't want to eat. She can't seem to sleep. If only she could...

Lydia is finally given a prescription for a trial medication to help her sleep. Glorious, glorious restful, dreamy sleep!

Oh! The dreams she dreams! Dreams with Freddie. It feels like she's awake continuing her life where Freddie is still alive. A life where she can talk to him, touch him, be with him!

But, then she wakes up and it's back to life without Freddie, with only her grief...

Protagonist Lydia gives her first person POV in chapters of 'Awake' describing her struggling life without Freddie and in chapters of 'Asleep' describing her dreamy life with Freddie still alive.

Can Lydia continue to live in two parallel worlds indefinitely? Does Lydia believe Freddie would want this for her? Wouldn't he want her to live a full and happy life without him? Perhaps even find love again?

Lydia is by far my favorite character as she leads the reader through this book. Her daily struggles without Freddie are realistic and heartbreaking. Her nightly dreams of what life could have been if Freddie hadn't died feel realistic, too. After all, missing the life Lydia felt she was destined to live is part of her grief, too, right?

Jonah Jones, Freddie's BFF, who was actually friends with Lydia before he met Freddie, is also a favorite character. The loss he feels for his best friend is palpable, his grief genuine, raw and personal.

Elle, Lydia's sister is in this story to be the great support that Lydia needs. Everyone needs a sister like Elle, who is always there for you, holding you up so you don't fall, giving you hope when you have none.

I listened to the audiobook and the narrator, Olivia Vinall really made the character of Lydia come to life. She added appropriate voice inflections to peak interest and emotion and her voicing of all characters was quite distinguishable. But most undoubtedly, she was the voice of Lydia for sure!

I loved the way the author handles the topics of loss, grief and opening your heart again. This is Lydia's story, but it is just as much Elle's and Jonah's story, too! They shared it every step of the way with Lydia and she was lucky to have them both!

Oh! And, then there's that ending! It's the best!

I highly recommend this book to those who love Women's Fiction! It's a very worthwhile read!

4.5 stars
Profile Image for Danielle.
791 reviews387 followers
January 9, 2021
Lydia is an interesting character. I loved her relationship with her sister and mom. ❤️ I imagine how lost I’d be, if the love of my life died. Obviously I’d be devastated. 💔 But I have too much tethering me to my reality (kids, family) to understand the ‘check out of life’ idea. In any case, this was an interesting theory of alternate reality versus mental break.
Profile Image for Tina.
2,389 reviews1 follower
July 30, 2022
This is a Women's Fiction/Chick-Lit/Magical Realism, but I do not feel this is a romance. I really loved this book. This is story of good-bye and letting someone go after they pass away. I love all the characters, and the magical realism part I really loved. I listen to the audiobook of this book, and I loved the audiobook.
Profile Image for Christy.
3,758 reviews32k followers
May 5, 2020
3 stars

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After reading Josie Silver’s ‘One Day in December’ I couldn’t wait to get to her newest novel The Two Lives of Lydia Bird. I loved the synopsis of this one and it had so much potential, but unfortunately it was just alright for me. I liked it, but I didn’t love it like I did her other book.

Lydia and Freddie are the couple that’s been together forever. They’re engaged and meant to be. That is, until Freddie passes on Lydia’s 28th birthday. Lydia’s life is forever changed, as one could imagine. It’s been months and her life is still in a low place, until something happens. She takes a sleeping pill that does so much more than make her sleep.

Lydia is living two lives. One in the present, and one in an alternate reality where Freddie is still alive and her life went in that direction. This story is about Lydia working her way through her grief and learning how to live in the present instead of completely living in the past.

I felt for Lydia. This is truly a heartbreaking read at times. I love Josie’s writing, but this one dragged a bit for me, especially the last half. I was much more invested in the start of the book. Even though it ended how I wanted it to, it never felt complete or like it came full circle. Overall, this was good for me, but not great. Still, I’m looking forward to reading more from Josie Silver in the future.
Profile Image for Marialyce (absltmom, yaya).
1,938 reviews722 followers
February 28, 2020
I have a file on goodreads entitled "I wish I had liked this book more" into which I am placing this story. While I loved this author's One Day in December, this new book just didn't give me all the thrills I was expecting.

First and foremost, I do think the author handles the very important topic of grief quite well. She managed to portray the very devastation that losing a loved one fosters on those who have experienced that loss. Certainly, her main character, Lydia, is overwhelmed by the tragic event that took her soon to be husband Freddie. That car accident left Freddie dead, his best friend, Jonah, hurt but not seriously, and Lydia planning her soon to be wedding, bereft. With the man she had loved since she was so very young, life seemed indestructible and glowing with opportunity. Instead, Lydia now faces a life of tears, sorrows, and remembrances.

Then something happens that pulls Lydia into an alternate universe where Freddie survived and her life with him continued. She is living in two worlds, the one where dreams exist and the one where reality dwells. How does one handle living in this emotionally charged environment and still manage to be part of reality? Keeping a foot in each world does not serve Lydia well and this story becomes one of allusions versus reality.

So what was it that caused my ambivalence with this story? For one, I am not the greatest target for a book such as this, not really being a romantic story reader. So I am sure that's partly to blame. The second item was that I found instances of the reality that Lydia lived in to be unreal. The characters in the story were all wonderfully understanding as Lydia spent months absent from her job and in a world where it was ever so obvious that she needed help. I couldn't help but question why her mother and sister did not seem to see that and although they loved her dearly allowed her to stay in the depths of despair. Another thing that just didn't gel with me was the amount of time her job allowed her to be away. It was unrealistic for most people who have experienced tremendous loss would ever had been granted that much time away from their job. Granted these seem like small items and yet they seemed to seep into the story and mar it for me. It was also certainly no secret how this all would work out and the story seemed to labor along until its inevitable conclusion.

However, I know that many will love this story with its mixture of romance and tragedy. I just wish I had been able to accept the premise a bit more.
Thank you to Josie Silver, Ballantine Books, and NetGalley for a copy of this story to be released in March.
Profile Image for Amanda.
710 reviews235 followers
October 19, 2019
After falling in love with One Day In December, I was thinking this next book couldn’t be as good, but I was thankfully wrong!!

Lydia and Freddie are engaged, their love should last a lifetime but how long is a lifetime? Sadly on Lydia’s birthday, Freddie and his best friend Jonah are involved in a car accident and Freddie dies.

Lydia is a great character, you can really feel her pain and despair at losing her true love. Lydia wants to hide away but with help from friend Jonah and sister Elle, there may be light at the end of the dark tunnel.

Then something happens, Lydia is given the chance to live her life again with Freddie, but at what cost? And what if her happiness comes at a cost to others.

The journey of Lydia’s grief is heartbreaking to read, but I loved her transformation from heartbroken to taking control of her life. This story sends out hope to anyone who has lost someone close to them.

This book didn’t just tug at my heart strings, you stole my heart and kept it long after reading this book. I cried loads and would keep telling my husband what was happening with tears streaming down my face!!

Josie Silver writes about grief in a sensitive and understanding way where, with the help of friends and family, there is hope and maybe the start of a new life.

I can’t recommend this book enough.

Thank you to Netgalley for my copy in exchange for a review.
Profile Image for demi. ♡.
206 reviews277 followers
March 22, 2020
❥ 5 / 5 stars

I didn’t expect much from this book but whoa, it turns out to be a lot better than her previous book and I’M BLOODY IMPRESSED RIGHT NOW!!!!!!
Profile Image for NickReads.
461 reviews1,205 followers
Want to read
February 12, 2020
yo I got this ARC and I am going to read the hell out of it
Profile Image for Jayme.
1,107 reviews1,741 followers
March 9, 2020
How do you continue living WITHOUT the person you have been in love with since you were fourteen years old-Your fiancée, who was killed in a car accident on your 27th birthday???

After losing Freddie, Lydia is barely functioning, until she is prescribed some pills, to help her to get some much needed sleep...

Once the pills are prescribed, two separate narratives begin…

🌙 ASLEEP: Lydia finds that if she takes her sleeping pill, she will DREAM
of Freddie… of the life they would have lived, the life they should have lived.

It is like she is being transported to a parallel Universe, where Freddie is still alive and sharing her life with her.

🌞AWAKE: Lydia has to live through all of the “firsts” without Freddie.
First Christmas alone, First New Year’s Eve Alone. First Wedding Alone.

The only thing she looks forward to, is the next pill, so she can be reunited
with Freddie, in slumber...

For the first 100 pages or so, the chapters alternate,
AWAKE and then ASLEEP,
as Lydia tries to move forward and heal.

I wasn’t really connecting with the ASLEEP chapters, as I have never really been a fan of the “time travel” love stories, and this felt similar.

And, as usual, I was falling for the WRONG guy! 🤷🏻‍♀️
The FRIEND (Jonah Jones from the AWAKE chapters) instead of
The FIANCÉE (Freddie, from the ASLEEP chapters)

I almost gave up.

But, I was enjoying the “AWAKE” chapters, and just as I was deciding whether or not to continue reading...Lydia goes to a shelter to adopt a cat for company, and hey, what can I say...it made me hang in there! 😻

(Thank You, Turbin the cat...you arrived at just the right time, even though you had a very minimal role, in Lydia’s life, when all was said and done! 😹)

As Lydia muddles through those “firsts”, and begins to heal, the “ASLEEP” chapters tapered off, and the “AWAKE” chapters became more dominant.

We share more time with Lydia’s Mum, her sister Elle and her husband David, her work friends, and her friend, Jonah, who was both a best friend to Freddie and to Lydia through their childhood. These are the kind of people we should all be lucky enough to have as a support system in good times and bad!

This is when I found the MAGIC in this story that other reviewers found earlier.

Despite the subject matter, it really is more uplifting than it is depressing.

I am so very glad that I didn’t give up! 💖

The book literally ends with one character in TEARS.
AND, it ended with me in TEARS, too!
In the very best way! 💝
Profile Image for Samantha.
409 reviews16.7k followers
January 10, 2021
3.75 stars?

TW: death of a loved one

This book is so hard to rate and I may change the rating after some time passes. I thought this book was going to be 5 stars, and felt that way through most of the story. This is a raw depiction of someone processing their grief and all the missteps along the way. I was moved multiple times during this read. But also, the story got lost at times. Although I think that did work for the story, I do think some tweaks could have made this really shine. I thought I knew where it was headed, and then it meandered and made me question myself, before finally returning to where I thought it was headed from the beginning, and that left me feeling disoriented. That is all very vague but I will be doing a full review on my channel so I can discuss this more in detail!
Profile Image for Sher❤ The Fabulous BookLover.
865 reviews552 followers
March 31, 2020
2.5 Stars

You know those stories that gut you, that take your breath away? They’re heart wrenching and just unforgettable?? Well this is NOT one of those books.

This was dull and boring. I liked the idea of the two lives but honestly there was no plot. I was hoping that it would go somewhere but it didn’t. It was just a woman dealing with her grief. If you like grief tropes then you may like this one. Just be aware a lot and I mean A LOT of the book is useless talk.
Profile Image for Kendall.
635 reviews633 followers
January 10, 2020
One Day In December was one of my top books of 2019. I absolutely devoured it! So, of course I was ecstatic to get my hands on Silver's new novel!

Well.... would it be any different for me to be the outlier on a book? Nope haha! I really struggled with this book and was a very very slow burn of a book.

I think the premise of the book was great.... Lydia adjusting to the love of her life Freddie dying in a car accident. The concept of grief and coping is heavy throughout this book and felt more of a darker mood.

The novel focuses on an interesting concept of Lydia in a dream-like state still being with Freddy and having conversations etc/real life with him. Than Lydia goes back to her "awake" state and living in present of Freddy no longer being alive. For some reason I couldn't connect with this one at all. I hit 50 percent and was completely bored? I'm not sure why maybe the mood I was in?

But, this was just "ok" for me and nothing that hit home for me. I felt the romance wasn't particularly there in this novel but maybe this was just a side note and it was focusing more on moving on from grief/death.

Overall, I would give this one a try and maybe it's something you will love.

3 stars for me on this one.

Thank you to Random House Ballantine and Netgalley for the arc in exchange for an honest review.

Publication date: 3/3/20
Published to GR: 1/10/20
Profile Image for Chelsey (a_novel_idea11).
430 reviews129 followers
March 3, 2020
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️💫 and ALL THE FEELS!!!!!!

Lydia and Freddie have been together since they were practically kids. After over a decade together, they’re now engaged and happily planning their future together. On the way to Lydia’s birthday dinner, Freddie dies tragically in a car accident. His best friend Jonah is also in the car but he comes out with nothing but a scratch on his face and a shattered heart for the loss of his best friend.

Lydia’s grief is all consuming. Unable to handle every day life, unable to eat, and unable to sleep, her family brings her to a doctor who prescribes sleeping pills. The first night Lydia takes a little pink pill, she awakes in her dream world next to Freddie. The dream is vivid - lifelike.

She soon realizes that the pills are somehow a portal to another, alternate timeline where Freddie is still alive and well. Alternating between her real life and her dream world, Lydia begins leading two lives. But the physical and emotional toll are grueling and how can she live in either world with one foot in and one foot out?

This was an extremely powerful and emotional tale of love and grief. Though it focused on the romance of Freddie and Lydia, it was not a typical meet cute love story. The depth of the characters and emotions leapt off the pages. Silver’s writing was superb, the story was wonderfully unique, and the novel really makes you think. Beautiful story of love, loss, grief, and the power to live.

Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for an advanced copy in exchange for my honest review.
Profile Image for Katie B.
1,258 reviews2,942 followers
April 6, 2020
I'm a huge fan of the author's previous novel, One Day in December. Needless to say I was very much looking forward to reading this one. And while this one didn't turn out to be another 5 star read, I was left feeling in awe of the writer's talent for exploring a popular topic in a unique way. When you feel like you are getting something new and different from a subject that has been explored to death (pun intended) that's always a good thing to experience as a reader.

Lydia and Freddie have been a couple for over a decade. On the night of Lydia's birthday, Freddie dies in a car accident. Obviously Lydia is devastated, but she can still interact with him in her dreams. You see, when Lydia falls asleep each night, she dreams of Freddie in the present, as if he never really died. So in this dream world Lydia gets to see how life might have played out with Freddie had he never been in a car accident. However, during the daytime Lydia realizes she needs to move on with her life and hopes she can do so with the help of her sister and Freddie's best friend, Jonah. But how does Lydia move on when every night she is confronted with what life with her loved one could have been like had he never died?

I couldn't help but think of Taylor Jenkins Reid's book, Maybe in Another Life, while reading this one. They share some common ground in the fact that both stories revolve around alternate scenarios. It's almost like coming to a fork in the road and rather than just picking which path to take and moving on, you get to experience both paths. As a reader, it is interesting to internally debate what is the best outcome for this character.

Like I mentioned before, grief is a subject that has been extensively covered in fiction. And yet I still feel like the author presented it in a different way which led to me feeling like it was worthwhile read. My only real complaint is at times the story seemed to drag on a bit, but in all fairness, with everything going on in the world, I'm finding it difficult to concentrate while reading. Regardless, I still am glad I read this one and look forward to more books by the author in the future.

Profile Image for Sylvie .
618 reviews812 followers
May 4, 2020
I made a mistake again finishing a Josie Silver book in a public place. meaning: sobbing like a ninny in front of strangers.

Profile Image for BernLuvsBooks .
724 reviews4,627 followers
July 9, 2020
4 heartfelt story of love, loss and healing stars!

I loved One Day in December so I was excited to read this latest book by Josie Silver and it didn’t disappoint. It was a bit emotionally heavy at times but it was so heartfelt. I was completely invested in Lydia’s grief and her struggle to find her way back to living and loving. ⁣

This was a slow burn which I felt worked well with the story line of healing. Grief is real - it takes time to process through loss. There are ups and downs and moments of madness - Silver captured that all here and did so in a way that pulled you in and made you feel emotionally invested in the journey. ⁣

I really enjoyed the “𝘢𝘭𝘵𝘦𝘳𝘯𝘢𝘵𝘦 𝘳𝘦𝘢𝘭𝘪𝘵𝘺” aspect of the plot. What a different way to process through grief! It was interesting to get these glimpses of Lydia's life and even more critical to see how she processed them. It was a huge part of her healing process and a great way to see how she was evolving and growing stronger. Grief is tough and Silver doesn't shy away from that. I enjoyed watching Lydia process her love, her life and her grief and come out battered and bruised but stronger in the end.
Profile Image for Book of the Month.
229 reviews12.5k followers
March 2, 2020
Why I love it
by Sara Hildreth

I shy away from sentimental reads. If an author is overtly manipulating my emotions, I have no problem rolling my eyes and setting the book aside. Luckily, I’m here to tell you that The Two Lives of Lydia Bird possesses not one moment of emotional fakery. This novel is as raw as it is charming, and one of the most earnestly heartfelt books I have read.

Freddie and Lydia have been together since they were 14, and Lydia can’t imagine her life without him. But a few months into their engagement, on Lydia’s twenty-eighth birthday, Freddie dies in a tragic accident. In her grief, Lydia’s relationship with Freddie’s best friend, Jonah, deepens as she tries to move on. But she's rattled to discover that, every night when she falls asleep, she is inexplicably transported to a world where Freddie is still alive. As Lydia deals with the emotional strain of living parallel existences, she’s forced to make decisions not only about how she wants to live, but who she wants to live with.

What I love most about this book is that in spite of the extraordinary premise, its charm is in the ordinary moments that make up Lydia’s dual lives. The Two Lives of Lydia Bird broke my heart into pieces and then put those pieces back together one spontaneous cat adoption and silent speed dating session at a time. With each tentative step Lydia takes toward healing, we learn alongside her that grief and love are both messy, knock-you-down, totally transformative parts of life. Grab a box of tissues and enjoy the journey.

Read more at: https://bookofthemonth.com/the-two-li...
Profile Image for DeAnn.
1,294 reviews
February 12, 2020
4.75 swoon worthy stars

I loved Josie Silver’s first book “One Day in December” so I jumped at the chance to read an early release of this one. Now she is on my must-read list! This book was such a romantic, yet heartbreaking story. The ending made me cry! I loved it! (Although the plot sounded a little far-fetched when my daughter asked about the book I was reading)

We have Lydia Bird and her amazing boyfriend/fiancée Freddie – they’ve been together since age 14 and are planning their wedding next year. The perfect life comes to a hard stop when Freddie dies on Lydia’s birthday in a car accident. Grief takes over her life and Lydia can hardly function.

Strangely, she’s reunited with Freddie in her sleep and they seem to live their lives as if the car accident never happened. Lydia finds herself torn between her sleep life and her “real” life. Can she maintain the dual lives?

I especially liked the dynamics with Lydia’s sister and mom and found their relationship added quite a bit to the story. Lydia’s best friend Jonah tries to pull her out of her grief, but he’s struggling with his own demons. How can Lydia get past her grief to embrace life and maybe even find love again? The character of Lydia was so real, her grief was heartbreaking, and it was quite the journey for her to process this huge loss.

Mark your calendars, this one comes out 3.3.2020 – I highly recommend it, especially if you need a good cry!

Thank you to NetGalley, Josie Silver, and Random House/Ballantine for a copy of this one to read in return for an honest review.
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