The J.M. Barrie Ladies' Swimming Society
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The J.M. Barrie Ladies' Swimming Society

3.21 of 5 stars 3.21  ·  rating details  ·  395 ratings  ·  118 reviews
When Joey Rubin stumbles upon a group of elderly women swimming in a lake one freezing January morning, she thinks they must be mad. But then they dare her to come in…

Joey, an overworked New York architect, is in the Cotswolds to oversee the restoration of Stanway House – the stately home that inspired J.M. Barrie to write Peter Pan. It hasn’t...more
ebook, 288 pages
Published December 4th 2012 by Atria Books/Marble Arch Press (first published 2012)
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The one thing I hate about Americans writing about the UK is lack of research. Little bits of dialogue or description that jar and pull me out of a story. Some that stick in my mind from this book:
We have milk in our coffee, not cream.
If someone is cooking haggis as a special treat for a Scottish friend, they wouldn't serve it with a green salad, especially not in January - it would be some version of neeps and tatties.
An ambulance driver wouldn't say 'Don't worry Ma'am,' it would be 'Don't wor...more
It would be nice if publishers did their jobs these days. There were so many factual errors in this fiction book, I had to consider it a romantic fantasy rather than the chick lit novel it claims to be. Set in England, with a main character from New York City, the author exhibited complete ignorance of British (or for that matter, American) equine sports culture, a situation one might have thought British publishers would catch. They didn't. Early on, at a horse show, Zitwer writes about the cro...more
I read a review of this book in one of the broadsheets a while ago and thought it sounded like a lovely and inspiring tale. Oh dear.
It has some lovely observations on friendships and how they can change over distance and time but apart from that I was very disappointed.
It was written by an American which isn't a problem in itself but whoever edited it should be shot! An English grandmother wouldn't offer her grandchild 'cookies'. A Scotsman would never serve Haggis - especially if he was cooki...more
I loved the idea for this story, a cynical New Yorker moves to England and discovers a beautiful home with a connection to the author of Peter Pan and finds her own Neverland while swimming with the women of the J.M. Barrie Ladies' Swimming Society. Unfortunately the book did not live up to its potential for me.

I did enjoy reading about Joey and watching her change and grow while she is working on Stanway House in England. I also loved the swimming society made up of some unique older women who...more
Hm, this sounded like a bit of fun and I thought it might be at least a little about JM Barrie. But neither was the case. References to JM Barrie were few and far between and irrelevant really. The story was so predictable. I could see this one coming like a freight train. It bore no resemblance to real life and wasn't even interesting chick lit.

Nothing to recommend. It makes me wonder what on earth happens to get books like these onto the shelves in supermarkets where they get massive exposure...more
Kerry Hennigan
The J.M.Barrie Ladies’ Swimming Society is far from being an epic, but it IS a delightful, enjoyable debut novel from Barbara J. Zitwer.

Joey Rubin is a New York architect who travels to England’s Cotswolds to oversee the restoration of the historic mansion where J.M.Barrie penned Peter Pan.

Here she encounters a group of intrepid elderly women who daily dip in the freezing waters of lake for health and sheer enjoyment. They invite Joey to join them.

It is a small community in which Joey discovers...more
As I am not an English native speaker, I didn't recognized the criticized details pointed out by other reviewers. For me, the first part of this book has too much names made me confused...

However, overall I enjoyed reading this book, As my copy was given by the author directly during the London Book Fair, which was so grateful, I could feel the author's energy and warmth between the lines.

Personally, my favorite part is chapter 10, particularly page 92, which describes Joey, the main female ch...more
You may not believe this, but we can look out of our house on Christmas morning and see people swimming in the cold, cold water just a few miles from the place where the English Channel meets the Atlantic Ocean.

I’m inclined to think that they’re mad, but I do know that they are part of a very old tradition.

Every Christmas Day, since 1864, in Hyde Park the members of the Serpentine Swimming Club have competed in a Christmas day swimming race. J. M. Barrie was a patron on the race and he gave the...more
Readers if you find yourself in need of a sweet, heartwarming romance look no further than The J.M. Barrie Ladies Swimming Society by Barbara Zitwer. Debut author Zitwer is an international literary agent who has previously produced film and written the play, the Paper Doll, and she certainly knows how to pull heartstrings. Joey, a thirty something New Yorker, lands the job of a lifetime when she is sent to the Cotswolds in England to oversee the restoration of Stanway House, the residence that...more
This could have been a stronger novel if the author had focus less on the main character and more on the various characters in the swimming society. Parallels are drawn to the Polar bear club in the exposition in the earlier part of the novel. But it is their friendship and lives which are more interesting instead of just the depiction of swimming in a cold pond. It felt under-written and certain characters remains shadowy and almost sketched in. This feels like the movie "Steel Magnolias" witho...more
Given its title and subject matter, I wanted very much to fall in love with this book, but sadly, it was mostly disappointing. Characters and relationships are shallow and poorly developed, incidents pass faster than the speed of light and the editing is sloppy in more than one occasion with missing quotation marks and commas aplenty. Also, and this might seem somewhat petty but I don’t care, I have expected a character who is all but obsessed with J.M Barrie and with Peter Pan to pay a visit to...more
Jay Howard
This is a delightful read. Without the elderly ladies it stands up as a good romance. With them it is lifted into a whole other dimension. The MC, Joey, develops wonderfully under their influence. These are feisty ladies, well-rounded characters who know their own minds, are prepared to argue the point, and demonstrate all the little foibles and failings of humans. They have loved and stayed loyal to each other for decades. They teach Joey the real meaning of friendship and, in offering friendsh...more
Without the elderly ladies it stands up as a good romance. With them it is lifted into a whole other dimension. The MC, Joey, develops wonderfully under their influence. These are feisty ladies, well-rounded characters who know their own minds, are prepared to argue the point, and demonstrate all the little foibles and failings of humans. They have loved and stayed loyal to each for decades. They teach Joey the real meaning of friendship and, in offering friendship, help Joey repair her own laps...more
Un libro precioso, romántico, mágico y conmovedor. ¡He quedado totalmente encantada!

Reseña en el blog:
When Joey (Josephine) Rubin learns she must go to the Cotswolds district of England to supervise a restoration job for her architectural firm, her first thought is to get in touch with her best friend, Sarah, who has lived in Londond since her marriage a dozen years earlier. Joey's second thought was how to take her dog with her. Finally she really considered the job, and how exciting it would be to bring an ancient stone relic to life, espeically featuring the works of J.M. Barrie. Perhaps a We...more
A first novel, apparently, that does not show the five years it apparently took to write it. I thought from the title it might belong to the potato peel pie style. but this makes "The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society" look like a Pulitizer prize winner.

I don't need to get into the Americanisms which have been covered by other readers.

I will note that this was weak on a number of levels, including research, use of back ground, character development, and the plot itself.
1) the resea...more
Aunty Janet
Enjoyable story and loved the characters, especially the ladies who take Joey under their 'wing'.
''When Joey Rubin stumbles upon a group of elderly women swimming in a lake one freezing January morning, she thinks they must be mad. But then they dare her to come in…
Joey, an overworked New York architect, is in the Cotswolds to oversee the restoration of Stanway House – the stately home that inspired J.M. Barrie to write Peter Pan. It hasn’t been easy. The local residents aren’t exactly welcomin...more
Joey finds herself unexpectedly in charge of a project to refurbish a country house in the Cotswolds which has associations with J M Barrie the author of ‘Peter Pan’. Joey is thrilled and apprehensive as she travels from her home in New York to England to oversee the project. She hopes to renew her friendship with Sarah who is married and lives in England with her husband and children.

While staying at Stanway House, Joey makes friends with a group of women who meet to swim in a local pond and h...more
Lis Carey
Joey Rubin is a rising young architect in New York, battling the glass ceiling and still hurting from the end of a romance with a co-worker. She's developed a hard, cynical edge, and has been losing touch with her friends from college and earlier. She's also starting to realize that maybe it was a mistake to get rid of everything that reminded her of her late mother, after her father remarried, moved to Florida, and deeded the condo they'd all lived in together to her.

Then the lead partner on a...more
Ok lo ammetto, forse una stellina è leggermente meno di quello che realmente si merita, ma due sono troppe. Devo smetterla di farmi abbindolare dalle copertine bellissime e da tutto ciò che riguarda- direttamente o non- Peter Pan.
Ho voluto questo libro a tutti i costi, ho saltato una lezione per volare in libreria a comprarlo e si è rivelata una delusione. è una sorta di Beautiful cartaceo, una serie di avvenimenti mal collegati tra loro.
Ho trovato questo libro privo di qualsiasi spessore, piat...more
Recommended from my daily book of the day email from Bookpage. Joey is an architect from New York who has been put in charge of rennovating Stanaway House in the Cotswolds. It is the home that inspired J. M. Barrie to write Peter Pan. Joey is a big Barrie fan also. While in England she encounters a group of older ladies who meet a pond to swim in the winter. Joey learns much about herself from the ladies about love and friendship and perhaps teaches them a little something along the way.

What I d...more
Strega Del Crepuscolo
Un libro molto piacevole, forse non merita appieno le quattro stelline ma tre mi sono parse poche...

La storia non è come mi aspettavo dall'incipit riportato sul libro ma forse sono io che mi ero fatta un'idea sbagliata.
Joey è un brillante architetto di New York, è appena uscita da una lunga e devastante relazione sentimentale con un collega che si è rivelato una vera carogna. Mentre si appresta a preparare il suo ultimo progetto, la ristrutturazione di una villa un tempo frequentata dal celebre...more
Jennifer Chow
3.5 stars. This is a story revolving around the overworked New York architect, Joey. It's a slow and subtle journey, much like the English countryside (the Cotswolds) that Joey finds herself in because of her latest project, the Stanway House, a home that inspired J.M. Barrie to write Peter Pan. The pacing was a bit too gradual for me, but I liked Zitwer's descriptions of England and the tidbits about Barrie. I particularly enjoyed Joey meeting the J.M. Barrie Ladies' Swimming Society. In fact,...more
La storia inizia a New York,dove Joey lavora come architetto.
Uscita da una logorante relazione con un collega (un vero bastardo,aggiungo), Joey vede nell'incarico
di restaurare la vecchia villa di J.M.Barrie (l'autore di Peter Pan,per intenderci) la possibilità di far prendere una boccata di aria fresca alla sua vita.
Arrivata a Londra, la Zitwer, ci mette subito di fronte al rapporto burrascoso tra Joey e Sarah, sua vecchia amica d'infanzia.
La lontananza, gli stili di vita completamente diffe...more
Dina Agazzi
Romanzo carino, che rientra, per me, nella categoria "rosa". Ho iniziato a leggerlo perché cercavo qualcosa per distrarmi, che raccontasse una storia d'amore e che avesse un lieto fine, ed in questo senso il racconto ha soddisfatto le mie aspettative, inoltre è scritto bene e la lettura risulta molto scorrevole.
Avrebbe meritato tre stelle, se non fosse stato che, ad un certo punto, i personaggi (e la storia di conseguenza) perdono quasi completamente coerenza.
Infatti mentre la storia comincia co...more
I read the summary in Goodreads and thought it would be an interesting book about women's friendships and strengths. I enjoyed sections of the book but all the detail about the building in England lost my interest.

Joey, the main character, a New York architect is given the opportunity to travel to England to oversee the restoration of historic Stanway House. Her social life in New York consisted of a lack of friends because of her romantic relationship with a co-worker who wanted to keep it a se...more
I won a free copy of this book through a Goodreads giveaway.

I enjoyed this book, but the one problem I had was that the description for this book is somewhat not accurate. The description states that Joey will be met by unwelcoming local residents and have a struggle with the caretaker, but this isn't exactly what happens in the story. Joey is met by some residents that are not welcoming (won't name names, for it's a spoiler), but the problem is that the description makes it seem that all of the...more
This was a beautifully written story about Joey, a NY architect who comes to england to oversee renovation efforts on the home that inspired JM Barrie's Peter Pan. Joey encounters a group of women whose lifelong friendship cause her to re-examine her approach to establishing and maintaining friendships. Along the way she meets the town's eligble bachelor etc.

At the heart of this book it was a story of friendship and the ties that bind people. Joey, like many of us gets caught up in the daily gri...more
May 31, 2013 Bobby rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Bobby by: First-reads
Shelves: first-reads
This was a "nice" story -- enjoyable to read, good messages conveyed. What held me to the 3-star review were the inconsistencies in the author's Brit vs. American references and spellings. I think other reviewers have commented on this, and I don't know if this is the fault of the author or the editor. Some examples:

I thought the author was American, but her spellings are British.

One of the characters in England is knitting a sweater -- wouldn't the Brits call it a jumper?

The main character live...more
An uptight, emotionally removed 30+ professional woman is relocated from NY to England for a couple of weeks to begin work on the remodelling of a manor J.M Barrie was thought to have written 'Peter Pan' in during a stay.

On a run one wintery day, she sees an elderly woman splashing in a pond, and jumps in to rescue her... and so begins a story thick with observations and questions about what a good friend is, does, and should do.

An aspect I particularly enjoyed about this book is the treatment o...more
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