Wednesday, 1 November 2017

Meeting Lydia by Linda MacDonald: Audiobook
Release Date:17th November 2016
Publisher: Essential Music
Genres: Fiction / Audio

Marianne Hayward is having a midlife wobble. When she finds her charming husband has befriended the glamorous Charmaine, she is seized by jealousy. Her once-happy marriage begins to slide.

Insecurities resurface from when she was bullied at a boys’ prep school. Only one boy was never horrible to her, the clever and enigmatic Edward Harvey; her first crush.

Daughter Holly persuades her to join Friends Reunited where she searches for Edward convinced he may be the answer to all her problems. But she is unprepared for the power of email relationships.

Narrated by the talented voice actress Harriet Carmichael, Meeting Lydia is a book about childhood bullying, midlife crises, obsession and jealousy and will appeal to anyone interested in relationship dynamics.

When I was asked to review the audio book version of Meeting Lydia I jumped at the chance simply because its a fantastic story and I was keen to hear what the audio version sounded like. This was just perfect for all those long drives I've been doing lately to training courses with work and I became so immersed in the beautiful language and captivating dialogue that I found myself at my destinations without even realising the distances I had travelled. Harriet Carmichael narrates the story so well that her voice and character changes are seamless changing instantly to alert the listener that the dialogue belonged to someone new. The reading was well paced and very fluid and reminded me so much of why I loved this book in the first place. Listening to the story seemed to only heighten the emotional strength of Lynda MacDonald's writing.

Marianne is the wrong side of 40 and feeling like her life is slipping through her fingers as she fears the dreaded Menopause or the unspoken 'M' word! She is going through an emotional roller coaster and unsure of what is happening within her marriage. Just why is her husband spending more time at the pub, how much of a threat is the tarty Charmaine? And,why have her experiences of her time being bullied whilst attending prep school where girls were in the minority becoming all consuming memories no longer staying buried just below the surface where she had kept them for many years?

Marianne, determined to put the ghosts of her past to rest, seeks understanding and closure through tracking down Edward Harvey, a fellow pupil from prep school. He was a quiet and unassuming boy and never teased Marianne as the others had. So, through Friends Reunited, Marianne begins to try to understand her experiences through her contact with Edward. But, is she seeking something else from Edward?

This is a fantastically well written, thought provoking and intelligent book. Linda MacDonald writes with passion, empathy and sensitivity taking the reader through a whole host of emotions. The story explores the emotional scarring that occurs as a result of bullying and how it shapes a person long after the event, eating away at their confidence and self worth long into adulthood. The feelings this evoked for me were actually more acute hearing the story rather than reading about it. Getting a real feel for the characters and how they were affected by what was happening within the story.

The book delves into the complexities of human relationships and the tenuous threads by which long term relationships hang and how passions can be lost and found again. Modern life is further complicated by the use of technology such as the Internet, providing a new medium in which to establish new relationships and reignite long forgotten ones.
I'd highly recommend this book. It prompts you to think about difficult subjects long after you have closed the book.  Definitely a book that feeds the mind and soul and pulls at the heart strings! I loved it! And, now I have the audio version to love too! 

Linda MacDonald is the author of four independently published novels: Meeting Lydia and the stand-alone sequels, A Meeting of a Different Kind, The Alone Alternative and The Man in the Needlecord Jacket. They are all 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. 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, Kent.

Twitter: @LindaMac1

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