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 a book about childhood bullying, midlife crises, obsession, jealousy and the ever-growing trend of Internet relationships. It will appeal to fans of adult fiction and those interested in the dynamics and psychology of relationships. Author Linda is inspired by Margaret Atwood, Fay Weldon and David Lodge.
As someone who was in the same situation as Marianne in school, I can feel her pain. I am still in contact with my school crush and he was always someone who made me feel safe in school so I can appreciate her feelings when she found him.
A midlife crisis is something that we all know about but never expect to happen to us, along with jealousy which, when it is directed at our partner, brings the fears of infidelity. Internet relationships can suck us into the mindset of ‘this is better than what I have’ especially when you are going through something in your own relationship and you start to believe that this is who you are meant to be with but that, in itself, also brings the same feelings of jealousy as a result.
Meeting Lydia takes us on an amazing rollercoaster of emotion as we are right there in Marianne’s mind, having more insight than anyone else in her life could ever have.
Narrated by Harriet Charmichael, Meeting Lydia, is a beautiful story that investigates how our minds and emotions affect our everyday lives. Charmichael has done an amazing job of giving the characters life through her narration and is thoroughly enjoyable to listen to. Definitely the best choice for the narration of Meeting Lydia.
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 Alternativeand The Man in the Needlecord Jacket can each be read independently but are also a series. A fifth part is at the embryonic stage.
Let’s learn a little about Harriet Charmichael before we go!
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.
*I received my copy of Meeting Lydia for review purposes. All thoughts and opinions are my own.*