Former classmates Edward and Marianne, now fifty-five, have experienced a turbulent few years having lost contact with each other and suffered painful disruption to their home lives. Reunited again, this time through Twitter, they set about a search for personal fulfilment, but once again there are obstacles in the way - not least in the form of twice-widowed Jessica, Edward's neighbour, who threatens to destroy their pursuit of happiness and whose behaviour has alarming consequences. The extraordinary weather conditions prompt Edward and a former colleague to resurrect an idea for a documentary series that sets to challenge consumerist lifestyles. The Isles of Scilly become a model for sustainability and a filming trip to the islands provides an idyllic backdrop to the unfolding romantic tensions. Set in 2012, the year of the London Olympics, the action alternates between Broadclyst and Beckenham and examines the difficult issues faced in committing to a new relationship in midlife. Could being alone be a preferable alternative? Continuing themes of psychology, relationships and environmental sustainability, The Alone Alternative is the sequel to A Meeting of a Different Kind and the third and final part of the `Lydia' series. Written from both male and female perspectives, it also stands alone as a fascinating read for both men and women who enjoy thought-provoking fiction, keeping readers guessing until the very end.
Born and brought up in Cockermouth, Cumbria, Linda MacDonald has a degree in psychology and a PGCE in biology and science. She retired from teaching in 2012 in order to focus on writing, and published two books with Matador before The Alone Alternative. She lives in Beckenham, and travels to speak at libraries and to various other organisations about the inspiration behind the `Lydia' series and the psychology of internet relationships.