THE ALONE ALTERNATIVE by Linda MacDonald, £8.99 ISBN 978-1783064335

THIS is the third novel in the ‘Lydia’ series of relationship books by Cockermouth-born writer Linda MacDonald.

Set in 2012, the story follows former classmates Edward and Marianne, both now 55, who have each had a turbulent few years since losing contact with each other and both suffering painful disruption to their home lives.

Reunited again through Twitter, they try to find personal fulfilment, but like in the past there are obstacles in the way - in particular Edward’s twice-widowed neighbour Jessica, who threatens to destroy their pursuit of happiness.

The novel, written from both Edward’s and Marianne’s perspectives, was inspired by Ms MacDonald’s interest in the psychology of internet relationships.

“Many people will relate to the characters as they struggle with the dilemma of whether being alone is preferable to taking a risk with another partner,” she says.