When Marianne comes home from work one day to find her husband talking to a glamorous woman in the kitchen, insecurities resurface from a time when she was bullied at school. Jealousy rears its head and her marriage begins to fall apart. Desperate for a solution, she finds herself trying to track down her first schoolgirl crush: Edward Harvey. Even thinking his name made her tingle with half-remembered childlike giddiness. Edward Harvey, the only one from Brocklebank to whom she might write if she found him.
MEETING LYDIA is my first ever audio book that I have listened to. I must say that I highly enjoyed being able to sit back, close my eyes, and enjoy the beautiful storytelling presented by the narrator, Harriet Carmichael. She really brought Marianne to life for me and in a way almost feel a connection to Marianne and her story.
Marianne’s life may not have always been easy. She was bullied at school when she was younger and although it left a lasting impression on her, she went on with her life, got married, and started her own family. She loves her husband and the life they both created for themselves. Now, that Marianne is in her 40’s insecurities begin to pop up, especially when she finds her husband talking to a beautiful young woman. Is he attracted to this younger woman? Is he cheating? Will he cheat? Is Marianne not enough for him any longer?
Honestly I think we have all gone through this stage in life with a partner and/or a husband especially as we get older and may not feel as sexy as we used to be. We always think that it is just men who go through a midlife crisis, but women can go through one too. Menopause can be devastating to some women. I think many women feel like they are in limbo from being a vibrant woman to realizing that they are now getting older and a new chapter in their life is about to begin. Marianne is feeling the affects of getting older and of maybe not being desired by her husband. Jealousy is rearing its ugly head and Marianne can’t seem to open up to her husband about her feelings.
Marianne’s daughter encourages her to join Friends Reunited and see if she can connect with any of her old friends. Marianne finds herself searching for the one person she had a sort of connection with back in her high school days, Edward Harvey. He was one of the very few people who was never truly horrible to her. This is really the starting point to Marianne’s journey of self discovery and learning to accept who she is, scars and all.
I know that feeling an old connection makes Marianne feel good about herself. It makes her feel what she thinks she is missing in her relationship with her husband. All her thoughts, remembering the insecurities of the past, all the hurt that she as been through, I feel is finally being addressed within herself. On the other hand though, I find her to be a bit hypocritical getting upset over her husband talking to a much younger woman and then she goes out of her way to reconnect with someone from her past. I realized though, it was part of her journey and in essence was needed.
Will Marianne be able to distinguish what is online and what she has in real time with her husband and will she be able to open up to her husband and let him in?
I thoroughly enjoyed MEETING LYDIA. The story just had so many layers that drew me right in and piece by piece the author, Linda MacDonald, peeled away each layer exposing life for Marianne through the good times and the bad. The story is raw and emotional and so many other feelings all bundled up into one which made this a fantastic read for me and, in a way, extremely relatable. I found myself, once finished with the story, really thinking back on it and that is when I knew that this story has really had an impact on me and really had me looking into my own life and things that I have gone through that have shaped my life today. I highly recommend every woman, older and younger, pick up a copy and immerse yourself, the way I did, in this wonderful and heartfelt story.
About the Narrator: Harriet Carmichael
I’ve always loved doing voices. I grew up with Radio 4 being on constantly in the background. Somehow the voices and accents broadcast over the years soaked in. And now I do voices. Or if you ask my agent, I’m a “voice artist”.
For the last seven years I’ve spent most of my days in front of a microphone: as myself; as seven-year-old boys; talking baboons; angsty teenagers (usually American); androgynous talking cats; Glaswegian Grannies; the cast of The Archers…
After university I trained at The Oxford School of Drama and then acted mainly with touring theatre companies – some brilliant, some not so… I had a lot of fun, but once I started doing voiceovers in warm studios with good coffee, being on the road lost some of its appeal.
And the voice can do much more than people think. Tone, timing, pitch and accent can all vary depending on the job. From commercials and corporates to cartoons, computer games and audiobooks, it’s a brilliant job and, really, I owe it all to Radio 4.
About the Author: Linda MacDonald
Linda MacDonald was born and brought up in Cockermouth, Cumbria. She was educated at the local grammar school and later at Goldsmiths’, University of London where she studied for a BA in psychology and then a PGCE in biology and science. She taught in a secondary school in Croydon for eleven years before taking some time out to write and paint. In 1990 she returned to teaching at a sixth form college in south-east London where she taught psychology. For over twenty-five years she was also a visiting tutor in the psychology department at Goldsmiths’. She has now given up teaching to focus fully on writing.
Her four published novels Meeting Lydia, A Meeting of a Different Kind, The Alone Alternative and The Man in the Needlecord Jacket can each be read independently but are also a series. A fifth part is at the embryonic stage.