Meeting Lydia by Linda Macdonald ** Audiobook Blogtour review**

It has been such a refreshing change to listen to the audiobook of Linda Macdonald's Meeting Lydia. In November 2017, I reviewed The Man in the Needlecord Jacket which is one of its standalone sequels and you can read it here.
Now 46, when Marianne finds her charming husband in the kitchen talking to the glamorous Charmaine, her childhood insecurities resurface and their once-happy marriage begins to slide. Teenage daughter Holly persuades her to join Friends Reunited, which results in both fearful and nostalgic memories of prep school as Marianne wonders what has become of the bullies and of Edward Harvey. Frantic to repair her marriage, yet rendered snappy and temperamental by her plummeting hormones, her attempts towards reconciliation fail. The answer to all her problems could lie in finding Edward again...But what would happen if she found what she seeks? 

My Thoughts
I was immediately drawn into Marianne's story from the start. She has so much unfinished business and baggage from her childhood that it was easy to empathise with her. Still affected by the bullying she experienced at school, her search to contact one of the boys she remembered from those days becomes an imperative for her. Marianne's relationship with her husband comes under strain as she finds herself going through the menopause which she is reluctant to speak to him about for some time. Her insecurities cloud her thinking and you have to make your own mind up whether her fears about her marriage are well founded.

    We see both Marianne and her husband coming to terms with their daughter growing up and leaving home and the changes that will mean for family life. As Marianne seeks to find Edward, she embarks on an email correspondence which she keeps to herself at first. There is quite a strong sense of loneliness and regret in this and it is interesting to listen to her conversations with her students. Marianne is quite self aware. I particularly enjoyed the scene where she attended a school reunion as just enough detail was given for the people she met, to be able to visualise them quite clearly.

    Quite a complex web of relationships is examined and I did feel that the psychology within the story was impressive. Relationships, the effect of bullying in childhood, clandestine secrets all join together to give you a brilliant read. I can see how Linda has been able to follow it with three standalone sequels. As an audio book, I loved it. It was great to be able to listen in to Marianne's thoughts and hearing them spoken aloud made it an intimate experience. The narrator, Harriet Carmichael made the words come alive and was perfectly matched to the story.

In short: an intelligent read (and in this case, listen!)

About the Author 

 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.

You can follow Linda here: Twitter   |  Goodreads Author Page
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.

Thanks to Linda Macdonald , and Anne Cater of Random Things Tours for a copy of the audiobook and a place on the tour.

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