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The Two Lives of Lydia Bird by Josie Silver

The Two Lives of Lydia Bird

Repeat author

Josie Silver is back at Book of the Month – other BOTMs include A Winter in New York and One Day in December.

by Josie Silver

Quick take

Thanks to magic, a fiancé finds her dead husband-to-be very much alive in her dreams. Cue all the daytime naps.

Good to know

  • Illustrated icon, Icon_FastRead

    Fast read

  • Illustrated icon, Icon_400

    400+ pages

  • Illustrated icon, Icon_Sad


  • Illustrated icon, Icon_Magical



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.

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Free sample

Get an early look from the first pages of The Two Lives of Lydia Bird.

Why I love it

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.

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Member ratings (13,560)

  • Rhea J.

    Watauga, TX

    An amazing journey! I loved “The Two Lives of Lydia Bird.” Her story of grief was sweet and sad and wonderful all at the same time. And the end- “there is more than one happy ending for everyone.” ❤️

  • Inga S.

    Farmington Hills, MI

    This book literally made me cry. I’ve not lost a lover but have lost a close loved one and the emotions – regret, desparation, love – are so well written it spirits you away. Amazing & heartwrenching.

  • Meghan W.

    Dover, OH

    This book is sad and happy all in one. There’s so much grief, but the author shows how Lydia manages that grief. A good read for anyone whose been through something they don’t think they’ll overcome.

  • Emily W.

    Louisville, KY

    I was really disappointed by Josie Silver’s One Day in December but the plot if this book seemed interesting. I’m really glad I did! The characters in this seemed very relatable and they had good arch

  • Erica S.

    New York, NY

    Really helped show and shape how individuals deal with loss and “moving on” while making it an enjoyable for everyone to read. I wasnt a fan of the authors debute novel but this one really got me.Love