Firstly I wish to thank Anne Cater of Random Things Tours for inviting me on this Blog tour for Meeting Lydia by Linda MacDonald
Meeting Lydia explores the very relevant topics of childhood bullying, midlife crises, the pros and cons of internet relationships, and how the psychological effects of these affect the main character and those around her. Readers will be gripped by the turbulent life of Marianne who navigates the onset of menopause, an empty nest, a suspected errant husband and a demanding new obsession that pulls her in deeper as the story unfolds. Those interested in the psychology of relationships will enjoy this novel, as well as those who delight in an enthralling story with relatable characters and the powerful question of what happens when the past catches up with the present. This second edition has reworked the early chapters of the first edition, making for a pacy and shorter version more in line with the audiobook. Marianne comes home from work one day to find her husband talking to a glamorous woman in their kitchen. Old childhood insecurities resurface, stemming from a time back at school when she was bullied. Jealousy rears its head and her happy marriage begins to crumble. Desperate for a solution – and introduced by her daughter to social networking – she tries to track down her first schoolgirl crush, the enigmatic Edward Harvey. But Marianne is unprepared for the power of email relationships …
HERE ARE MY THOUGHTS AND REVIEW
I must admit that the title of this book intrigued me. Who is Lydia, well she wasn’t who I thought that was for sure. Marianne had been quite happily going through life on a daily routine of the same old same old. Life does that to us all, we get up go to work, come home a meal with the hubby and any children, a bit of telly and bed, then repeat day after day until it becomes year after year. All of a sudden the children are grown up and you have the flecks of grey in your hair. Where have the years gone?
When Marianne comes home to find her husband in the kitchen talking to a young and attractive woman, her mind flies her into panic mode. She feels old all of a sudden and with menopausal hormones hitting highs and lows, very insecure. She begins to think of all of the ‘what ifs’ in life and so with the help of her daughter and the ability to reach anywhere in the world in seconds via the internet, she embarks on tracking down old school friends and then her first crush.
This is a book where I just felt on the same wave length with the author from the moment that I read the first page. The feelings and panic that one day you wake up knowing that rationally aren’t right but too over whelming to make you see sense. It makes you want to grab onto the past, any of it and well for Marianne it came by the way of Friends Reunited and the power of emails. Emails where you don’t have to wait two weeks for a reply like we had to by letter and its safe right?
With rose-coloured spectacles firmly in place Marianne takes her torch for someone in the past and embarks wakening it up but with what price to pay in present day as she slips away from reality into fantasy. Words are so very powerful and at times it is much easier to write about the strongest ones than actually speak them. Writing is so often much more intimate.
The character of Lydia is captured with perfection with her step back into the real world one of frustration, anxiety and uncertainty. A brilliantly told story of one lady finally facing her past, dealing with her present and moving to her future.
HERE IS A LITTLE ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Linda MacDonald is the author of four novels: Meeting Lydia and the stand-alone sequels, A Meeting of a Different Kind, The Alone Alternative and The Man in the Needlecord Jacket. All Linda’s books are contemporary adult fiction, multi-themed, but with a focus on relationship issues.
After studying psychology at Goldsmiths’, Linda trained as a secondary science and biology teacher. She taught these subjects for several years before moving to a sixth-form college to teach psychology. The first two novels took ten years in writing and publishing, using snatched moments in the evenings, weekends and holidays. In 2012, she gave up teaching to focus fully on writing.
Linda was born and brought up in Cockermouth, Cumbria and now lives in Beckenham in Kent.