Audiobook Review & Giveaway: Meeting Lydia

Author: Linda MacDonald

Narrator: Harriet Carmichael

Length: 8h 43m

Publisher: Essential Music⎮2016

Genre: Contemporary Fiction

Release date: Nov. 17, 2016


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.



This is the story of Meeting Lydia focuses on Marianne Hayward and her friendships. Marianne has not had a good time at school since she has been bullied for years. This has caused great insecurities in her life and she isn’t quick to forget. She often wonders how her life might have been different if that stuff didn’t happen. But as she gets older and has a family of her own, her daughter pushes her to join a website that would force Marianne to dive into her past. It would cause Marianne to remember things she didn’t want to remember, but it could also talk to Edward Harvey, the one boy who was nice to her.

What a sweet story! I did not feel it was over the top amazing but it was sweet and enjoyable. I was surprised the theme of this story wasn’t more romance, it was friendships and the lasting effect they have on us. It was interesting to see how social media played a huge role in this story. It is so readily available nowadays so why not use it to help find an old friend or long lost love? That’s what the protagonist did it was very well done. After connecting with the boy she had a crush on, the protagonist was forced to also face the demons of her past. That is never easy for anyone, no matter what age they are.

I think this could be an important story for others as it reminds the reader that they need to be true to themselves. It also talks about some more serious topics of bullying, friendships and how important they are, romance, family, and more. I would highly recommend this to others as I really enjoyed this story.



Meeting Lydia Giveaway #1


Meeting Lydia Giveaway #2

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Feb. 14: A Page to Turn (Review)
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Feb. 15: A Gingerly Review (Review & Giveaway)

Feb. 16: Ali the Dragon Slayer (Review & Giveaway)

Feb. 17: Jorie Loves A Story (Guest Post)

Feb. 18: Highway YA (Spotlight)

Feb. 19: Haddie’s Haven (Review, Spotlight & Giveaway)
Lynn’s Romance Enthusiasm (Spotlight)

Feb. 20: That Wild Soul (Spotlight & Giveaway)

Feb. 21: Mel’s Shelves (Review)
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Feb. 22: Holed Up In A Book (Review)

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