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Sunday, February 19, 2017

Audio bookworm Presents: Meeting Lydia by Linda MacDonald; #AudiobookTour, #OutNow, #Review

Author: Linda MacDonald

Narrator: Harriet Carmichael

Length: 8h 43m

Publisher: Essential Music⎮2016

Genre: Contemporary Fiction

Release date: Nov. 17, 2016

Rating:  4.5 Stars

I received this audiobook as part of my participation in a blog tour with Audiobookworm Promotions. The tour is being sponsored by Ronelle Antoinette. The gifting of this audiobook did not affect my opinion of it.

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.”

Marianne Hayward, teacher of psychology and compulsive analyser of the human condition, is hormonally unhinged. The first seven years of her education were spent at a boys’ prep school, Brocklebank Hall, where she was relentlessly bullied. From the start, she was weak and frightened and easy prey for Barnaby Sproat and his gang. Only one boy was never horrible to her: the clever and enigmatic Edward Harvey, on whom she developed her first crush.

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?


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Born and brought up in the town of Cockermouth in the Lake District in England, Linda MacDonald has a degree in psychology from Goldsmiths’, London University, and a PGCE in biology and science. She retired in 2012 from teaching psychology in a 6th Form College in order to focus on writing, and has now published three print novels, the first of which is now an audiobook. She lives in Beckenham in Greater London, and travels to speak to various groups about the inspiration behind the ‘Lydia’ series and the psychology of internet relationships.

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; talkingbaboons; 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.


Where does Meeting Lydia rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

I would say that this would be in my top third. One reason being that this is a book I can picture myself listening to more than once. It's one where you feel that the female character understands what you, as a woman, is going through at that certain point in your life.

What did you like best about this story?

The narrator was so easy to listen to. She just seemed to get me; to let go of all my outside troubles and concentrate on the story that this author has written.

Have you listened to any of Harriet Carmichael’s other performances before? How does this one compare? 

I have not listened to any of this narrator's performances before. But after listening to this book, I've already scoped out my next one narrated by Ms. Carmichael and put it on my wish list.

If you could rename Meeting Lydia, what would you call it? 

I would never even think of doing that to an author. They have picked the title for a specific reason and since I enjoyed the book as it was why would I want to make any changes. I may not have picked up the book, and probably would have bypassed it, but having the audio copy showed me what I might have missed otherwise.

Any additional comments?

This author has put a voice to what a lot of women go through once they hit that "M" stage. It may not speak to everyone but there will be a few who may understand some of what Marianne was going through. It had me wishing that she were my friend so we could meet and chat.

It's a story where a woman is trying to reconnect with her husband but is there someone else trying to get his attention. Marianne then recollects about a friend from school that she remembers fondly and tries to renew their friendship. Isn't that something like we do when we go to school reunions? How many of us try to track some of those friends down using the resources of the internet? Don't we want to know that we still matter?

This was a great way to find both a new author and a new narrator. I can't wait to get my next read from both. It was a story that made my commute and my days where stress started to overtake me more pleasurable.  

Feb. 13: Jorie Loves A Story (Guest Post)
Feb. 14: A Page to Turn (Review)
Country Girl Bookaholic (Interview, Spotlight & Giveaway)
Feb. 15: A Gingerly Review (Review & Giveaway)
Feb. 16: Ali the Dragon Slayer (Review & Giveaway)
Feb. 17: Jorie Loves A Story (Review)
Feb. 18: Highway YA (Spotlight)
Feb. 19: Haddie's Haven (Review, Spotlight & Giveaway)
Lynn's Romance Enthusiasm (Spotlight & Review)
Feb. 20: That Wild Soul (Spotlight & Giveaway)
Feb. 21: Mel's Shelves (Review)
The Bookworm Lodge (Spotlight)
Feb. 22: Holed Up In A Book (Review)

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