Hear the first two chapters of the audiobook for You’re My Kind by Clare Lydon @ClareLydon narrated by Nicola Victoria Vincent on this episode of Book Clips, the mini podcast that gives listeners a taste of a book.
Listen to it here
Would you give your first love a second chance?
Justine Thomas and Maddie Kind met at university and were the couple most likely. Everybody said so. That is, until Maddie left without saying goodbye.
Ten years later the pair are reunited at a friend’s funeral, and now Justine can’t shake Maddie from her life. But why is she back? Why did she disappear? And more importantly, is she interested in the whole cake, or just one last slice of Justine?
Strap in for a novel that deals with life’s big topics: love, death & cake. Clare Lydon is the queen of British romantic comedy, and this stellar lesbian romance is guaranteed to give you all the feels. It’s unputdownable.
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Transcript for today’s show
Please note this transcript has not been edited and is automatically generated meaning certain words will be incorrect. [
you are listening to book clubs a mini podcast in which authors and narrators do readings from novels check out the show notes for the synopsis and by links for this book you’re my kind written by Claire Lydon narrated by Nicola Victoria Vincent chapter one I was wearing the wrong shoes my new navy brokes were rubbing already and I’d only walked to the bloody car but today they were the least of my worries ok we can do this we can totally do this Gemma reached across and put her hand on mine her short pristine nails freshly painted dark red you’re going to be fine I know it’s a big day and Carey drops a bomb last night telling us you know who was coming to but today is not about her it’s about James and Carrie got it I gave Gemma a tight-lipped smile I was scared I’d contradict her if I opened my mouth outside the may morning was in full swing sunshine dripping off the car even though it was only 9:30 a.m. it reminded me of those endless summer days we used to share at University the end of term exams done and worried shed us slathering layers of coconut oil on our skin and basting ourselves before we knew any better with my fair hair and pale skin the Sun always won that battle even the grass outside reminded me of our university grounds cut to regulation length neat and ordered everything as it should be the complete opposite of this morning in fact because today we were burying James the first of the gang to die I’m trying to distract myself but my mind keeps pinballing from one disaster to another James Maddy James Maddy I put my hands to my face if Maddie turned up with a beautiful wife I was going to dissolve on the spot I need a drink and it’s not even ten have I mentioned this is a stupid time for a funeral Gemma patted my knee as I dropped my hands only about 47 times on the way over here my best friend gave me a look before in her short dark hair she’d had it cut short this week and she was still getting used to it everyone at work kept telling her she looked like Halle Berry in that James Bond film Gemma said they needed to update their references but I told her to concentrate on there you look like a Bond girl part of hey after me my name is Justine Thomas I’m a successful entrepreneur and a gorgeous woman to boot Gemma waited a few seconds you’re meant to repeat it I’m not five years old no she agreed but you’re about to meet the woman who completely shattered your heart so I imagine right now you feel about 24 years old I just want to remind you that in the intervening years since Maddie you’ve flourished opened a successful business and been featured in national newspapers because of it you’re a big deal I laughed I’m not a big deal Maddie’s probably a millionaire by now you know what she was like driven determined high achiever and what are you you’re all those things are more and lovely into the bargain too she tapped the mirror on my Sun Visor take a look in the mirror see for yourself I sighed I know I’ve done okay you just need to be reminded what with Maddy looming she’s not looming and she was a very long time ago I know but it still happened and has shaped your life ever since I creased my face before turning to Gemma not only my best friend but also my business partner for the past five years I appreciate your concern but I can cope I’m an adult now fully grown responsible even Maddie and I were a decade ago today I’ll be civil we’ll smile and then I’ll never have to see her again I knew this might happen one day and James has brought that day forward bloody James going and dying on us I smiled even though every time I said it my heart broke a little bit more I loved James like a brother plus he was far less annoying than my actual brother a wave of sadness washed down me and I reminded myself Maddie wasn’t important today James and Carrie were cars were beginning to pull up around us and brightly dressed mourners walked past one man wore a Union Jack three-piece suit he’d clearly got carries message about no black one of our best friends was about to bury a man she’d loved for 13 years I couldn’t even fathom how she must be feeling I cleared my throat should we make a move I took a deep breath I want to be there when Carrie arrives with her parents she’s going to need our support Gemma nodded Coase she pulled down her Sun Visor got her lipstick out of her bag and applied more color how do I look she told me earlier the lipstick was called brave which seemed at it pops against her soft brown skin Gemma had that knack of looking incredible whatever she was wearing and today what she was wearing was certainly a statement I appraised her yellow trousers and orange shirt which he combined with white patent shoes how do you look like you’re the entertainment for a kid’s birthday party she laughed that’s just the look I was going for a knock on the window interrupted us it was our friend Rob in a somber black suit and tie he looked like he was going to a funeral exactly what Carrie had instructed us not to wear Gemma rolled down the window all right cake ladies you coming in or planning on sitting in a hot tin box for the rest of the morning Rob gave us a broad grin I hear and this aircon inside so I plumped for that if I were you very droll Gemma replied we were just getting out where’s Jeremy he grimaced babysitter fell through so he’s not here he dropped me off in town just now he’s devastated but he sends his love i pelted I loved Rob and his husband Jeremy but since they’d spawned twins last year via surrogacy it was pretty common for only one of them to turn up two occasions however Rob was a regular fixture in our lives as he ran the bakery opposite our cake school in Bristol we were business neighbors as well as friends and what’s with the black he shrugged a hand away jaunty our outfit on but then the twins puked on me three times each in the end this was almost my only item of clean clothing that was ironed robbed someone yelled from across the car park he looked up and waved as someone I didn’t know walked up to him and gave him a hug this was the first funeral I’d ever been to and it was already striking me that it was like any big life occasion only without the guest of honor I glanced at Gemma shall we I opened the door and just as my brogues hit the tarmac a brand new red Minnie pulled up beside us it had tinted windows and those go-faster hubcaps totaled boyracer territory whoever was driving this car clearly wanted the world to know who they were the minis engine shut off as I slammed the passenger door of Gemma’s Ford Focus I reached my arms above my head performing a full body stretch it had only been a 20-minute journey to the crematorium but I was already sticky from the heat I was glad I dotted for pale blue trousers paired with a short-sleeved printed shirt and no jacket I threw a smile across the top of the car to Gemma and Rob but they were both looking at me with panic edged on their faces what was going on a car door slammed behind me and my two friends froze suddenly I knew who that Minnie belonged to who it was who wanted to get noticed who it was standing behind me causing my friends to turn into ice statues even on a blazing hot day I closed my eyes my heart slamming into my ribs all the hairs on my neck standing up one by one craning their necks to get a better look the number of times I’d thought about this moment over the years and now it was about to happen i clenched my fists at my sides the itch of anxiety burning my throat I took a deep breath and spun around and there was Maddy the X that counted still tall and slim still beautiful still with the most styled thick eyebrows I’d ever encountered and how were her blond wave still so goddamn shiny and perfect just like that and exactly as Gemma had predicted I was 24 again lost abandoned heartbroken only now coming over my emotional Hill at speed with the dual Cavalry’s of anger and rage I’d wondered how I was going to react and now I was getting my answer yep I was completely over it Maddy was dressed in fitted black trousers black shirt and black lace ups she hadn’t got the memo about no black I was inordinately pleased it showed that even if she tried to wheedle her way back in she wasn’t part of the gang anymore that was important she’d lost the right a long time ago hi Justine she held me with her piercing grey eyes and my heart stuttered it’s good to see you Maddie kind wants the author of my dreams then the author of my nightmares I couldn’t say the same chapter two we met at university all of us wearing to go out of our parental homes and into our halls of residence like we were starring in some cool TV show at least that’s what our first taste of freedom felt like we were invincible like anything could happen because when you’re a teen that’s what life feels like scary incredible wonky it all seemed so long ago now I avoided Maddie’s intense stare and tried to radiate confidence and calm I was anything but seeing her again brought up so many memories most of them bad most of them from after ours I still wanted answers but now wasn’t the time plus my bladder needed emptying I indicated with my head towards the main crematorium as Gemma landed at my side robbed at the other reinforcements had finally arrived I have to go to the loo not the first line I’d imagined I’d uh tur to my ex but then real life never mimicked what happened in your head did it I walked past a group of men in black suits already wiping the sweat from the back of their necks James had died at the start of the summer today was the sort of day we’d all have met at the pub by the river for lunch and drinks stories of our former life coating the air like melted honey raucous laughter from James he’d always been the loudest the one who made people turn their heads he was still doing it today wasn’t he the toilet signs were polished brass with the black outline of a woman in a ridiculously uniform a line skirt a bit like the ones we’d been tasked to create in sewing class in school I’d made a bright orange version the color of burnt sunsets my teacher a kind Australian woman who was probably around the age I am now had made encouraging noises from the sidelines while probably wondering where the hell I was going to wear such a thing it was a fair question who knew where that skirt was now once inside the loo I took some deep breaths today was going to be long I might even cry I had tissues in my bag just in case Carrie had told us she wanted floods of tears gales of laughter and rivers of snot rolling down the crematoria miles did crematoriums have aisles and wasn’t sure the only issue was I hadn’t shared a single tear since Maddy left then I’d cried for weeks but since then a whole decade of nothing perhaps James’s funeral was the place to change that whatever I knew I had to stop hiding in the toilet James would have told me that Maddy’s presence today didn’t change anything I’d achieved in the intervening years I was still a strong woman I still ran a successful cake school James would tell me to go out there and be the strong person I am because it had only been five minutes since Maddy had walked back into my life and I could already feel my skin tingling with nerves could already hear my confidence scuttling out the door I wasn’t going to let Maddy railroad me I could do this how many hours had I spent conjuring words to Maddy in my head telling her exactly what I thought of her numerous train journeys hundreds of bus rides thousands of steps on endless pavements but now my chance to tell her was here 10 years later it was all a little stale a little after the fact seeing Maddy and knowing what had and between us my body had reacted like always but I didn’t trust my body it was just a collection of muscles and veins after all it was my mind I trusted my mind I could control and my mind was now telling my body to calm the down get back out there and do what James would have wanted me to do woman up Justine that had been James’s catchphrase when it came to being a feminist Ally James was at the head of the pack all of which made it that little more bitter it was James who died back out in the glaring sunshine I clocked Gemma waving at me Maddie was standing to the side chatting to Daniel who’d lived in our halls at University Daniel had always had a bottle of Southern Comfort in his room back then in case he was invited to an impromptu party nobody had liked Daniel and yet here he was at James’s funeral I bet he had a bottle of southern comfort in his muted gray backpack who brought a backpack to a funeral was he going hiking afterwards I walked over to Gemma as Rob approached putting an arm around her Gemma put her head on Rob’s shoulder leaning in what a day I can’t believe I’m in a suit James would have wanted us all in shorts wouldn’t he rob tugged at his black tie it was only when I looked closer I saw it had tiny reindeer stamped all over it I pulled it out from his chest and raised a single eyebrow who slapped my hand away and smoothed it back down I smile nod to the party theme he rubbed his hand around the back of his neck and did a sweep of the crowd which had swelled considerably since we’d arrived have you spoken to her yet Rob leaned his head in the direction of Maddy I shook my head not really but when I do I’m sure it’ll be fine lies all lies I glanced over at Maddy who was nodding intently at Daniel I lowered my gaze to her left hand no rings then I mentally slapped myself for fucksake Justine it doesn’t matter whether she’s got a ring or not my thoughts were interrupted as the funeral cortege crept up the pristine tarmac it stopped in front of the thick wooden main doors now flung open a polished mahogany box glint through the glass but none of it seemed real I was still waiting for James to amble across the carpark telling us it was all a big joke imploring us to get down the pub make his appoint and none of that poncey expensive stuff either mady’s laughter split the air just as Carrie got out of the car and everybody nearby turned to glare at her Maddy’s cheeks turned puce I looked towards the coffin and to carry her face pensive her dress lemon-yellow her fair curly hair falling all around her face so far she was holding it together emotion swelled in me maybe I would cry today if anybody deserved it it was James you’re my kind written by Claire Lydon narrated by Nicola Victoria Vincent you have been listening to book clips check out the show notes for the synopsis and by links for this book if you are interested in showcasing your novel then check out the show notes for more information [Music]