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Book club questions for The Two Lives of Lydia Bird by Josie Silver will explore all the events and takeaways from this engaging novel. There will be spoilers so if you haven’t read the book yet, check out my spoiler-free review.
What an impactful story! That ending really got to me. I thought this one is very well done and an interesting take on the growing magical realism story trend. While I did think this one is fantastic, I do feel One Day in the December might have the edge.
Lydia and Freddie. Freddie and Lydia. They’d been together for more than a decade and Lydia thought their love was indestructible. But she was wrong. On Lydia’s twenty-eighth birthday, Freddie died in a car accident.
So now it’s just Lydia, and all she wants is to hide indoors and sob until her eyes fall out. But Lydia knows that Freddie would want her to try to live fully, happily, even without him. So, enlisting the help of his best friend, Jonah, and her sister, Elle, she takes her first tentative steps into the world, open to life—and perhaps even love—again.
But then something inexplicable happens that gives her another chance at her old life with Freddie. A life where none of the tragic events of the past few months have happened.
Lydia is pulled again and again through the doorway to her past, living two lives, impossibly, at once. But there’s an emotional toll to returning to a world where Freddie, alive, still owns her heart. Because there’s someone in her new life, her real life, who wants her to stay.
Book Club Questions for The Two Lives of Lydia Bird
- The story starts off with a prologue of Lydia’s final conversation with Freddie. She talks about how so many of life’s defining moments happen unexpectedly. Do you agree with this? What did you think about the opening chapter?
- The chapters alternate between “awake” and “asleep” where “awake” is the timeline where Freddie died and “asleep” is when he’s still alive. What did you think about reading these two timelines side-by-side?
- While Freddie is alive in the “sleep” timeline, much goes wrong. Her sister Elle miscarries a baby and her and Freddie began to have issues with him traveling so much. What did you think about these developments—why did things seem to fall apart more in the “sleep” timeline, despite Freddie still being alive?
- Josie only experiences the “sleep” timeline when she takes pills and for a while there, she takes it pretty consistently to be with Freddie. What was the key factors that forced Josie to spend more time in the “awake” timeline?
- Would you want to experience two timelines like Josie did? Have you had dreams that felt so realistic when you woke up that you thought it actually happened?
- A key part of this novel is the slowly developing love story between Josie and Jonah. Let’s talk about our thoughts on this. Could you tell that Jonah was in love with Josie all along? When do you think she started to see him in a different light in the “awake” timeline?
- We really get to see her relationships with Freddie and Jonah develop. Do you think she was better suited for one over the other?
- Let’s talk about why Josie ran off to Croatia after her sister gave birth.
- On page 314 after a fight with Freddie, Lydia says: “I can’t ignore the fact that I’m changing anymore, that the me that visits Freddie in the other world is less and less like the Lydia he knows. And in truth I like this new version of me better. She’s still really messed up, but she’s plucky. Adventurous and strong. She’s been trying to move slowly forward, walking against the tide, and all this time I’ve been trying to pull her back.” Let’s discuss what she’s saying here.
- What did you think about the ending and her finally getting together with Jonah? Lydia tells Jonah that there’s more than one happy ending for everyone—let’s talk about this.
What to Read Next
Hope you enjoyed book club questions for The Two Lives of Lydia Bird! Here are some more recommendations along with links to book club questions.
In Five Years by Rebecca Serle
In Five Years by Rebecca Serle is a moving story that will stick with you long after you finish the last page.
Where do you see yourself in five years?
Dannie Kohan lives her life by the numbers.
She is nothing like her lifelong best friend—the wild, whimsical, believes-in-fate Bella. Her meticulous planning seems to have paid off after she nails the most important job interview of her career and accepts her boyfriend’s marriage proposal in one fell swoop, falling asleep completely content.
But when she awakens, she’s suddenly in a different apartment, with a different ring on her finger, and beside a very different man. Dannie spends one hour exactly five years in the future before she wakes again in her own home on the brink of midnight—but it is one hour she cannot shake. In Five Years is an unforgettable love story, but it is not the one you’re expecting.
Oona Out of Order by Margarita Montimore
Oona Out of Order by Margarita Montimore is such a charming story that serves as a perfect distraction read.
It’s New Year’s Eve 1982, and Oona Lockhart has her whole life before her. At the stroke of midnight she will turn nineteen, and the year ahead promises to be one of consequence. Should she go to London to study economics, or remain at home in Brooklyn to pursue her passion for music and be with her boyfriend? As the countdown to the New Year begins, Oona faints and awakens thirty-two years in the future in her fifty-one-year-old body. Greeted by a friendly stranger in a beautiful house she’s told is her own, Oona learns that with each passing year she will leap to another age at random. And so begins Oona Out of Order…
Hopping through decades, pop culture fads, and much-needed stock tips, Oona is still a young woman on the inside but ever changing on the outside. Who will she be next year? Philanthropist? Club Kid? World traveler? Wife to a man she’s never met? Surprising, magical, and heart-wrenching, Margarita Montimore has crafted an unforgettable story about the burdens of time, the endurance of love, and the power of family.