A tender, joyous debut novel about a cub reporter and her eighty-six-year-old subject—and the unlikely and life-changing friendship that develops between them.
Kate is a twenty-six-year-old riddled with anxiety and panic attacks who works for a local paper in Brixton, London, covering forgettably small stories. When she’s assigned to write about the closing of the local lido (an outdoor pool and recreation center), she meets Rosemary, an eighty-six-year-old widow who has swum at the lido daily since it opened its doors when she was a child. It was here Rosemary fell in love with her husband, George; here that she’s found communion during her marriage and since George’s death. The lido has been a cornerstone in nearly every part of Rosemary’s life.
But when a local developer attempts to buy the lido for a posh new apartment complex, Rosemary’s fond memories and sense of community are under threat.
As Kate dives deeper into the lido’s history—with the help of a charming photographer—she pieces together a portrait of the pool, and a portrait of a singular woman, Rosemary. What begins as a simple local interest story for Kate soon blossoms into a beautiful friendship that provides sustenance to both women as they galvanize the community to fight the lido’s closure. Meanwhile, Rosemary slowly, finally, begins to open up to Kate, transforming them both in ways they never knew possible.
In the tradition of Fredrik Backman, The Lido is a charming, feel-good novel that captures the heart and spirit of a community across generations—an irresistible tale of love, loss, aging, and friendship.
Libby Page previously worked in marketing, moonlighting as a writer. She graduated from The London College of Fashion with a BA in Fashion Journalism before going on to work as a journalist at the Guardian. THE LIDO is her first novel. It was pre-empted within 24 hours of submission for six figures in the UK, pre-empted for six figures in the US, and will be published in 2018 by Orion UK and Simon & Schuster US, followed by eleven other territories around the world.
Libby has been a leading campaigner for fairer internships and has spoken on TV and in parliament in support of fair pay for interns. Libby has been writing from an early age and when she was 16 she wrote an illustrated book called Love Pink to raise money for Breast Cancer Care.
After writing, her second passion is outdoor swimming. Libby lives in London where she enjoys finding new swimming spots and pockets of community within the city.
Rosemary is 86 years old, and daily visits her local lido for a swim; she has recently tried to stir up interest in saving the lido from being bought up and removed by high-end property developers. Despite spending her entire life in this South West London community centred around Brixton, and having numerous acquaintances Rosemary hasn't really opened up to anyone since the death of her husband, the love of her life. Local journalist Kate is 26 years old, and originally growing up in Bristol has really struggled to bond with Brixton and its people mostly due to her anxiety and the resulting loneliness. A moving and tale-of-our-times story about the power of community. Swimmers queuing to get into the Brockwell Lido
One of the beautiful things about this read is the every-day-ness anyone of us could be Rosemary or Kate trying to be our best selves and living how and where our lives take us. and in this case to getting their local community together to technically save the lido from closing, but in reality in this story to give Rosemary and Katie their lives back. POwerfully understated read that adds to the modern themes around loneliness and isolation in modern urban environments. 8 out of 12. Brockwell Lido back in the day
I’m on a streak with charming reads these days, and I am feeling uplifted!
Kate is a cub reporter working for the local paper in Brixton, London. As a cub, she is responsible for the smallest assignments. She also has severe anxiety that affects her work and daily life.
Kate’s next assignment is writing about the closing of a lido (i.e., outdoor pool and recreation center), where she meets Rosemary, a widow in her eighties. Rosemary has been a fixture at the lido since she was a child, swimming in its pool daily. Not only that, but she met her husband there, and she has healed swimming in that pool since her husband’s death. So the pool is a fixture, a grounding, for Rosemary as well. The lido is closing due to development, leaving Rosemary feeling lost.
Kate is instantly charmed by Rosemary and the lido, and she makes this story much bigger than a small, forgettable one. She works with a photographer to piece it together through her interviews with Rosemary, and the community chips in, too, all in hopes of stopping the closure of the pool.
What I loved most about The Lido is the relationship that developed between Kate and Rosemary. Each needs to heal in her own way, and this was possible through their bond. I also adored the Brixton setting with its quaint shops and strong sense of community.
The Lido is an uplifting story of friendship, hope, healing, and a life well-lived at any age.
Thank you to Simon & Schuster for the ARC. The Lido will be published on July 10, 2018.
Thank you to publisher Simon & Schuster who provided this advance reader copy via NetGalley.
This is a very touching story about an 87-year old woman named Rosemary who lives in the Village of Brixton in England. Her apartment's balcony overlooks "The Lido," otherwise known as the local community pool. More than anything else in her long life, she associates this pool with much of her happiness and fondest memories. She swam there as a child during the war, and even had her first date there with George, her beloved late husband. Now at the age of 87, she still starts her mornings at the lido with a refreshing swim, then hangs her wet swimsuit to dry like a triumphant banner on her balcony. In fact, most of the time the doors to her balcony are open so as to let the welcoming sights and sounds of the lido drift in.
Now the lido is in danger of closing, targeted by a firm named "Paradise Living" to be cemented over and become a private members' gym. Rosemary spearheads a protest effort by distributing homemade "Save the Lido" fliers throughout the neighborhood. This comes to the attention of the local newspaper who assigns newbie reporter Kate to flesh out an article. To that end, Kate contacts Rosemary for an interview, which triggers major changes in Kate's life for the better. Rosemary insists that Kate go for a swim before she will grant Kate an interview. Kate complies, finding the peace and serenity it provides a soothing revelation. A sufferer of panic attacks, battling depression and anti-social tendencies, Kate finds the lido's waters replenishing to her well-being. Kate authors a running series of articles on the mounting anti-closure lido protest, of which she becomes an enthusiastic participant. At the same time, she becomes a loving and close friend to Rosemary. In doing so, she opens the door to other friendships and even romance.
This was a gentle, pleasant and poignant story that will touch your heart with its sense of community and simple pleasures in life.
Thank you to my Goodreads friend Jennifer TarHeelReader & Traveling Sister for recommending this fine book via her stellar review.
"When you're weary, feeling small When tears are in your eyes, I'll dry them all (all) I'm on your side, oh, when times get rough And friends just can't be found Like a bridge over troubled water I will lay me down Like a bridge over troubled water I will lay me down" -- Bridge Over Troubled Water, Simon & Garfunkel, Songwriters: Paul Simon
At eighty-six years old, Rosemary has lived in the Brixton neighborhood of London her whole life, a bustling neighborhood that brings to mind a scene of Notting Hill with a small, quaint bookstore, amid a colourful array of street vendors selling everything from flowers to coffee. The shop owners and vendors know Rosemary by her name, but she is best known at the Lido, where she not only learned to swim, as a very young child during the war, but where she has gone her whole life since.
When she met the man who was to be her husband it was there that they met, and it was where she and George went every day of their lives together. But George is gone now, and her morning swims at the Lido are even more precious to Rosemary, it’s where she can still picture him, remember their time together. Relive the memories. It’s where they had their first kiss. It’s where they fell in love. But there are other memories of this place, as well. It is the place where the neighbors gathered after a bomb fell on the park just clear of the Lido, and nearby Dulwich Road that ran along one side of the park. Eighty-six years of memories and all the best ones were from here.
Outside the park, places are beginning to change. Once upon a time, she knew the names of everyone, every shop, and every shop owner. Where the grocery once stood, there is now a bar. Even the library where she used to work is now closed.
Kate Matthews is relatively new to Brixton, a young woman in her mid-twenties who has no friends, who is acutely depressed, prone to panic attacks, and has sister she rarely speaks to. She dreams, dreamed, of becoming a writer and is working as a journalist, but, so far, she has only covered relatively insignificant stories. She’s lonely, desperate for a story she can believe in, some way she can make a difference. She can’t even remember what happiness feels like, anymore, or what it would feel like to meet someone else who might understand how hard it is to get up and face each day.
Everything begins to change the day that Kate is given a job covering a story about the lido, tossing a leaflet with “Save our lido” written on the outside. She reads their plea; the council has declared that due to financial worries they are considering a private bid to buy the building from a corporation who wants to turn it into a gym for private members. Finally, a real story; she hopes she can help, make a difference
This is how Kate first meets Rosemary, when she goes to the lido to interview her for the story, and Rosemary agrees providing Kate, who claims she can’t swim, swims in the lido. She will never understand the importance of this place unless she can see it for herself.
This is how they join together, these two women sixty-some years apart in age, to save the lido, Rosemary’s memories, and maybe even Kate, as well.
This is being promoted as similar to Fredrik Backman’s A Man Called Ove, and while I loved Ove and love Backman, I would say this is more comparable to Rachel Joyce’s The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry, as Ove was a rather cantankerous old man, and there is nothing even remotely grouchy about Rosemary, whereas Harold Fry was about a journey that begins as a personal journey, with others joining in, an awakening of the inner spirit to follow our hearts, and to lend support to others. Still, this is really its own story, and it is a wonderful debut story about the gentrification, love, relationships, change, aging, mental health, the power of community, and the almost miraculous power of friendship.
Pub Date: 10 JUL 2018
Many thanks for the ARC provided by Simon & Schuster
I was looking for a bit of a lighter read and one that would make me feel good! This book fit the ticket. At times, however, I have to admit that it sounded a bit like something I’d read before. The premise isn’t new, older person meets younger person and they each learn from the other.
I thought the characters were very well developed, particularly Rosemary, as we learn her life story from the time that she met George until his passing. Of course the lido played a huge part in their life, almost to the point of being a bit unbelievable. All of the photos that she goes through at one point have either one of them in swimwear at, in or around the lido.
Rosemary was a librarian who met George at the lido and fell in love. He was a green grocer and they pretty much lived their life very sheltered, never straying far from their neighborhood except for their visit to the ocean on their honeymoon. Rosemary touched the lives of many during her eighty seven years, always a kind word to everyone, an encouraging word to a child just learning to swim. George apparently also taught at the pool including children’s lessons, they were not fortunate to have children of their own.
The story begins when a development company that is building flats in the neighboring lots puts in a bid to buy the lido and turn it into a private facility just for it’s residents. The community council states that the lido has been losing money consistently and they intend to accept the bid. This doesn’t make too much of a ripple until our cub reporter Kate decides to write an article on it. It begins to get a lot of press, there are meetings, protests, even a sit in as it seems that everyone isn’t too happy with how their community is changing. The library was closed not that long ago and people are still upset about that.
Without going into more of the plot, I will say that the book was enjoyable to read. I wouldn’t say that I needed tissues but there were tugs at my heart. The fact that this is a debut novel is fantastic and I wish that they wouldn’t try to compare it to Backman’s books or any other author as Ms. Page will be gathering her own audience and I can’t wait to see what she will come up with next.
I received an ARC of this novel from the publisher through Edelweiss.
I confess it was a cover buy. I just couldn’t stand seeing it in book shops with that amazing blue colour of the Lido in the shiny summer days. It was as if I was going to jump in a refreshing pool if I buy the book, LOL! Well, it didn’t happen, but I really enjoyed my time. It’s a debut. My expectation was a cute and light summer read. It’s totally met. There’s no drama, no traumatized person, no family issues. It was a heart warming story of friendship taking place in a community, and I liked it.
Have you ever moved to a new city or state, not knowing anyone, and been nearly swamped by loneliness? I have! And that's Kate Matthew's situation now that she's moved to South London and gotten a job reporting for a local newspaper. It's gotten so bad that she's suffering from overwhelming panic attacks. "I had always been anxious but it got so much worse once I was in London."
Most of her assignments have been of the 'lost pet' variety but now her boss wants her to cover the proposed sale of the Brockwell Lido, the local outdoor pool and gym, by the Lambeth Council to make room for more profitable property development.
Kate is told she should interview eighty-six year-old Rosemary Peterson, who has been coming to the pool almost daily for eighty years. Rosemary agrees to the interview IF Kate will go swimming in the pool. And that one acts changes Kate's life. Soon she and Rosemary have become fast friends and Kate is helping to organize a protest to stop the sale.
This is a lovely, heart-warming story about love and friendship, standing up for what's right in the face of greed and Progress with a capital 'P'. Wonderful characters make this story come to life. Highly recommend!
Many thanks to the publisher for providing me with an arc of this new book through NetGalley for my honest review.
3.5 stars for me. This book was a light read that took me forever to get through, it just wasn’t all that interesting to me. Rosemary is 86 yrs old and five years ago lost her husband George. They have always lived in a flat within sight of the The Lido (city pool). The Lido had actually been part of their lives since their youth. A corporation comes in and wants to buy the land and close up the pool to build tennis courts for their new housing development plans. This book is about the path to save the Lido and friendships Rosemary has made along the way, especially with a young news reporter named Kate who does a story on The Lido’s planned closing. Just a cute little story.
Thank you to Netgalley and Simon & Schuster for the digital book!
This debut novel is a beautiful book celebrating the importance of community and relationships. As I read The Lido, I marveled that it is Libby Page’s debut – the story is very well-written. The book tells the tale of Kate, a lonely 26-year-old suffering from anxiety, and Rosemary, an 86-year-old widow who swims daily at her local lido (an outdoor pool and recreation center). The lido is targeted by a development company who wants to buy the land to build an expensive apartment complex. Kate works at a local paper and is assigned to write a story about the closing of the lido; as she begins working on the story, Kate meets Rosemary, and the two form a life-changing friendship that benefits and transforms both women. Working together, they rally the community to build support to save the lido while simultaneously learning the value of friendship and community.
The Lido is simply fabulous from beginning to end; Libby Page has crafted a heart-warming tale that will stay with me for a long time. She interweaves love, loss, aging, and the value of relationships into a tale that will appeal to everyone. I highly recommend The Lido; make sure you have tissues handy when you read it!
“I have been swimming here for more than eighty years.”
I have zero clue how The Lido ended up on my to-read list. None of my Goodreads friends have read it and I know it wasn’t from the library software because currently that believes I’m studying hard on becoming either a methamphetamine manufacturer or a serial killer. Maybe it was one of those advertisements that appear in the middle of the feed here that make you think your friends have read it? Maybe???? Whatever the case, I think it was the cover that got me because I am nothing if I’m not the cheapest date imaginable. I do know that I have checked this book out . . . only to return it almost instantly two times before now. Why, you may ask? Because the blurb compared it to A Man Called Ove and that was pretty blasphemous to me. Now that I’ve read it? Yeah, it’s kind of like Ove. Only this time our senior citizen is a female and rather than wanting to kill herself she wants to keep everything she loves alive.
On the surface Rosemary’s goal is to stop a condominium development from going up and removing the community pool. But get a few pages in and you get the history of Rosemary and George’s 64-year marriage. It was so very Up. You know what I’m talking about???
And yes this crusty old barnacle even had a couple of moments like these . . . .
While not sheer perfection like Ove, I still called my mother-in-law at the 51% point to tell her she HAS to read this.
“Never be sorry,” she says, a storm in her eyes. “Never be sorry for feeling. Never be sorry for falling in love. I was never sorry. Not for a single day.”
The Lido is the story of a young journalist, an 86 year old woman, and a swimming site in Brixton, London threatened with closure. During this story we meet a swath of residents of the area and learn more about both Kate, who has moved to London for work, and Rosemary, who has lived here for her entire life.
Now that I have finished The Lido, I have found that nothing happened that I hadn’t anticipated early in my reading. During the second half of the book, the impact of interpersonal emotions did feel more real and earned, as the characters slowly revealed themselves to each other. An early problem for me was that Kate, a very prominent character, dominated much of the early chapters but was too closed off, even from herself, to make those chapters feel as real as they needed to be.
Another major issue I have with The Lido is the fact that nothing was a surprise, nothing was “new” either in the story or the way it was told. Every change seemed to follow an old script and was telegraphed well ahead. Yes it is a nice story and there are people to feel for, but there is no edge, no true surprising detail to grab me, the reader, and make me take note. Perhaps I am asking more than this book is purporting to provide, but when I read, I want something that might surprise me, perhaps treat an old subject in a slightly new way. This book simply did not do that for me.
A copy of this book was provided by the publisher through NetGalley in return for an honest review.
Fue una lectura muy cariñosa, bondadosa y afectuosa, si bien decir que algún párrafo me sobró en la novela, pero todo queda subsanado con las afables palabras con las que está narrada la novela, escrita con mucho amor sutilmente, para nada empalagosa.
Por cierto también está muy bien acompañan esta lectura de una excelente banda sonora. (The Beatles, Frank Sinatra) y es que una novela sin música es como que la falta algo ¿No os parece?
Y por supuesto menciones a libros como por ejemplo: ”El guardián entre el centeno, Una historia de Brixton, Poemas para una vida.”
Kate es una muchacha de veintitantos que trabaja en un periódico local de Brixton, tiene algunos problemas de ansiedad y de vez en cuando el pánico la invade y el mundo se hace tan grande que ella no puedo con él, pero todo empieza a cambiar cuando lee una noticia de una persona no tan joven y el cierre de una piscina, el cual reza así “No le quitéis el tapón a nuestra piscina”.
La persona detrás de la noticia es la bella y tierna Rosemary, lo que comienza con cubrir una noticia, acaba siendo una preciosa y sincera amistad que une a estas dos personas tan distantes en edad, ¿Es que acaso la edad está reñida con la amistad o el amor?
La novela está narrada en presente y pasado de ambas, el pasado de Kate y el pasado de Rosemary lleno de recuerdos de su marido George, anécdotas encantadoras y algunas llenas de diversión. Rosemary y George prácticamente desde que se conocieron nadaban en esa piscina, pero el ayuntamiento quiere cerrar y vender el terreno para hacerlo privado, esa piscina para Rosemary está llena de su pasado junto a George.
La vida de Kate da un cambio radical y gracias a Rosemary se atreverá hacer cosas que ni imaginaba, entre ellas nace una gran y perdurable amistad, que va más allá de salvar la piscina.
Si algo tiene esta novela es la solidaridad, esa de ayudar a las personas por que si, por el hecho de ayudar sin pedir nada a cambio, de esas novelas que son las que me gustan, que a pesar de todo, los seres humanos somos buenos, de esas novelas que de vez en cuando te demuestran que se puede confiar en los demás, que te endulzan el corazón y que a pesar del egoísmo que mueve el mundo, hay personas que están dispuesta a darlo todo, con la sola intención de ayudar a mejorar el mundo.
Kate y Rosemary me dulcificaron el alma y el corazón.
Y hasta aquí puedo contar, si queréis saber todo de esta historia es mejor que la leáis, a que os la cuenten.
Posdata: Pero nunca olvidéis que la historia que cuenta un libro no siempre es igual.
Extractos del libro:
Se sentía más cómoda con sus libros que con la vida real. Le gustaba releer sus historias favoritas, saber lo que iba a pasar le ayudaba a sentirse tranquila, como si estuviera ella dirigiendo el relato. Y si no le gustaba la dirección que estaba tomando un nuevo libro, siempre tenía la posibilidad de cerrar sus páginas, respirar hondo y reanudar la lectura cuando estuviera preparada para ello o pasar a otro libro. Pero la vida real no era así.
Cuando una persona se derrumba. Crees que los huesos y la piel son un buen andamiaje, pero cuando una persona se derrumba te das cuenta de que no estamos construidos con un material lo bastante fuerte.
Un ser humano puede ser como una telaraña a merced de una tormenta.
Note: I won this book as part of a Goodreads Giveaway
Reading a description of The Lido intrigued me. It contained multiple story lines I’m interested in - a friendship between a woman in her 20s and a woman in her 80s, gentrification and pushback in a multicultural neighborhood, and a young woman trying to make her way in the big city. I love London and have spent extended time there so I was looking forward to reading this novel.
Unfortunately I found the novel extremely predictable and the writing style overly simplistic and rather dull. The characters felt cardboard, not organic. The romantic sub-plot could be seen a mile away. The fate of the Brockwell Lido was mapped out from the start. The relationship between Kate and her family felt very tacked on. The poignancy of Kate’s depression and loneliness in The Lido just scratched the surface of the way similar issues were dealt with in “Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine”. It felt as if the author had a check list of topics which she wanted to cover within the structure of the novel and she just ticked them off. I don’t know how else to say this but everything was written on the page – there was no depth or thoughts to take away.
When your eyes are glassy and your nose is dripping and your heart is full - you know you just finished a good book.
I honestly don't know what drew me into this book? The drawn cover with cheery blue waters and skies? The description? Or the fact that this book is marketed in the likes of A Man Called Ove by Frederik Backman? Probably all of them combined - and boy am I happy that I picked it up.
Despite picking it up because it was similar to A man Called Ove I was astonished at just how similar the two books actually were.
There was an elderly grieving person, there was an unlikely friendship, infertility, heartwarming romance, a wedding, a gay couple and a strong community. Check, check, check. This is honestly my only grief with this book - it was just way too similar.
I especially liked the anxiety representation in this novel - it was real and relatable and it brought a great dimension to the story. I also think that I am a sucker for unlikely friendships and this book has got one of the best ones.
But I am even a bigger sucker for a tangible, soft and oh so romantic love story. Rosemary and George's love was so real I could feel it pouring over the pages. Their relationship was the most beautiful thing I've ever read about in a book. I adored them and I aspired to be like them - they were so unapologetically in love and it showed in everything they did.
I cannot wait for July so this book gets published and I could post some quotes from it - I highlighted a lot of them! There were some true gems there. I definitely recommend this book, especially because the story is about a lido (an outdoor pool) and it's almost summer time - you won't find a more perfect book! Also, get our your swimsuits out because this book WILL make you want to swim.
Big thanks to Simon & Shuster and NetGalley for a complementary arc copy provided for a review. All opinions are my own, honest and come from the heart.
According to a letter from the publisher enclosed in a copy of the ARC, this book has sold in 24 countries and has been “optioned for a film”. According to the author page at Goodreads, this book was “pre-empted within 24 hours of submission for six figures” in the UK and “pre-empted for six figures" in the US. For the life of me, I can’t imagine why. At its best, this novel is mediocre chick lit. At its worst, this novel is so pedestrian that it’s hard not to entertain fantasies about it being run over by a bus.
Seriously, the first part of the story was composed of so many little details about everything and everyone, it was simple to guess author Libby Page was an experienced journalist, not an experienced novelist. One also got the impression she wanted the readers to know that she personally knew about a lot of the things being mentioned in the story. Wonderful. Only the characters in the story got buried under all the descriptive details, leaving them so flat that it seemed like they had been run over by a bus.
After the first hundred pages, however, Ms. Page fleshes them out a bit more, but so what? There’s nothing the least bit special about any of the characters, nothing the least bit unforgettable about them. They are common characters in a slow moving story that is anything but complex. The only readers I would recommend this novel to are those who aspire to be chick lit writers, but fear the stories they want to tell won’t be good enough for publication. Read this book! See how low the bar is set for publication at even big, well-known publishing companies, such as Simon & Schuster.
(Note: I received a free ARC of this book from Amazon Vine and the publisher.)
I read the first 25 pages. The kindest word I could apply to the prose is “undemanding.” I’d hoped the charm of a story about a lonely twentysomething journalist and an octogenarian who band together to rescue their local swimming pool would outweigh the dull writing, but not so. Comparisons with Eleanor Oliphant didn’t fill me with confidence, either.
Sample lines: “It may be spring, but Kate is living under a cloud. It follows her wherever she goes and however hard she tries she can’t seem to outrun it.” & “Rosemary is eighty-six but in the water she is ageless. Rosemary has lived in Brixton all her life.”
First we meet Kate Matthews. In her early twenties she has moved from her home in the suburbs of Bristol to take her chances in the big city of London. She has settled in the London community of Brixton where she shares a house with four other people who she barely knows. She has been here for two years now and is very lonely and depressed. Also, lately she has been experiencing panic attacks. She works as a journalist for a small community newspaper, The Brixton Chronicle. When she is not at work, she is usually in her bed.
"Stories were Kate's friends when she found people challenging. She searched them out, hiding among them in the library and tucking herself into their pages."
Next we meet Rosemary Peterson. In her late eighties, she also lives alone. She has been a widow for the past two years. Her late husband, George, was the love of her life and her reason for living. Across the street from Rosemary's flat is the Brixton Lido. The Lido has always been a huge part of Rosemary's life. She swims there every day and has since she was a young child. She and George shared many loving memories there. She has gone there during the war, during the London riots, and countless other occasions.
"Rosemary is eighty-six but in the water she is ageless."
We learn of Rosemary and George's story. They met the day that WWII ended. Their story will make you laugh, and make you weep.
Now, Rosemary's beloved Lido, which has been in existence since 1937 is under threat of closure. It seems a large property company want to buy the real estate it sits upon to build a gym and tennis courts for their tenants.
Back to Kate. Used to trivial jobs of reporting on lost pets etc., she finally is given a story with some substance. She is to research the story of the Lido, before it becomes a Brixton memory. She goes there to find out more about the potential closure of the outdoor pool. She is directed to interview Rosemary, who knows more about the Lido than anyone else.
Rosemary agrees to the interview - but ONLY if Kate swims in the pool. Kate does, and following her interview with Rosemary, the two become loyal friends. Daily swimming in the lido helps Kate with her anxiety. She becomes invested in the plight of the pool and begins to help Rosemary 'save' her lido.
"Hope is the most painful thing."
Along the way, the reader becomes immersed in the community of Brixton. The myriad cultures represented in its population. Even the wildlife get a few mentions. We meet Rosemary's many friends. The gay couple who run the local bookshop. The man who sells her produce, a teenage boy who swims at the lido, a new mother who brings her baby to the pool. ..
This book reminded me a lot of the works of Fredrik Backman. Libby Page has captured his method of using spare sentences that evoke emotion and deep understanding. Like Backman, her characters become friends with the reader - to the point where you miss them when the last page is turned. It also reminded me a bit of last year's "Lillian Boxfish takes a walk", only in my opinion it was much better. Instead of paying homage to New York, as in Lillian's story, it pays homage to Brixton, London.
This is a novel of loneliness, friendship, aging, love, and loss. The writing flows as effortlessly as water in a pool. The descriptions are vivid - so vivid that you can almost smell the chlorine and taste the character's salty tears.
"The Lido" is a remarkable debut novel that I highly recommend. A joy to read!
I received a digital copy of "The Lido" from Simon & Schuster via NetGalley and I provided this unbiased review voluntarily.
I love listening to audiobooks, especially fiction audiobooks. And the audiobook for The Lido was as good as I hoped it would be. At the end I had goosebumps and was smiling this silly but happy smile. With only 9 hours, the audiobook was quick, easy and flew by lightening fast.
If you love books that make you feel good, The Lido will do the trick. It was a heartwarming tale of friendship, hope, and new beginnings. If you love charming characters and a plot that was as enchanting as it was uplifting, this is your book.
The author's writing style is being compared to Fredrik Backman, and it certainly has the feel of it, but it can't quite reach it. On the other hand, for a debut novel, it was fantastic. And being compared to Fredrik Backman at this stage can only be good for the author. Because all said and done, The Lido was a wonderful novel that I'm really glad I read and would recommend to anyone.
What carries this novel is the friendships that begin because of the Lido, which is apparently the British word for a public open-air swimming pool or bathing beach. These unexpected friendships were the heart and soul of this novel. Friendships I'm actually envious of. Even though the Lido is Kate and Rosemary's only common denominator at the beginning, their friendship becomes so much more over time. As so often the characters enrich each other's lives and the story itself. And this is something that always makes me happy. True friendships, wanting to help and take care of each other is what makes me pick up a novel. It's heartwarming and gives me hope!!
The Lido has these tender and emotional moments, especially closer to the end, that make me truly glad that I read this book.
“The Lido” is a sweet tale of two women joining forces and rallying the community to save a local swimming pool. This is an adorable, uplifting story of an unlikely friendship of a young girl who is struggling to fit in a suburb of London called Brixton. She works at a local paper and she has the assignment to write about the local swimming pool. She meets an elderly woman who has enjoyed the pool since the 1920’s. When a development company buys the land and pool to build an upscale apartment building, the swimmers are aghast.
I recommend this novel as an interlude from heavy literature. It’s quick and sweet.
Преди минути завърших „Басейнът” от Либи Пейдж. Прочетох горе долу 1/3 от нея, когато излезе през май, но тогава нищо не ми се четеше. А е трябвало да я довърша... толкова много тъга и светлина има в тази книга, изумително е, че толкова млад автор може да „изкопае” толкова много емоции; че някой на няма и 30 знае толкова за остаряването и самотата, която идва с него. Вярвам, че всеки намира в книгите различни неща, че те често са като река - ние не четем една и съща книга по същия начин, по който не влизаме в една и съща река. Преди няколко дни тук имаше ревю за нея от моя приятелка, но тя е видяла съвсем различни неща в „Басейнът” - или е избрала да сподели впечатления, чийто фокус е различен от моя.
За мен „Басейнът” е книга за приятелството, което може да ни спаси. За историите, които няма как да се случат без хората, но всъщност се пазят от местата. За „жестокото присъствие на времето” в живота ни и как то ни давя нови спомени, приятели и истории за споделяне, но в същото време ни отнема други неща - любими, места, способности.
Тази книга е специална по ред лични причини, които няма да имат смисъл за никой друг, но вярвам, че ако скочите в „Басейнът”, ще намерите своята причина.
3.5 stars rounded up. My thanks go to Simon and Schuster and Net Galley for inviting me to read and review this charming debut. This book is for sale now.
Kate is a journalist, painfully shy, anxious, and lonely. Rosemary is an elderly widow. When the Lido—which I learned is an open air swimming pool—in Brixton is slated to close, Rosemary is up in arms. She isn’t usually an activist, but she has swum in this pool her entire life, and many of the most memorable events she has experienced took place there. She loves it still, and she cannot abide the fact that the lido is being sold to private developers who want to put up “swish new high rises.” Rumor has it that it won’t even remain a swimming pool; they may pave it over and put in tennis courts. Rich folks love tennis.
Kate smells a story, and she wants to interview Rosemary. Rosemary makes a counteroffer: she’ll do the interview only after Kate has swum at the Lido.
For Kate, this is traumatic. She isn’t crazy about her own body, and the thought of disrobing in front of others in a locker room nearly undoes her. But she swims, and she gets her interview. Over the course of the fight to save the lido, which Kate joins, she and Rosemary become good friends, and Kate’s own life blossoms. At the same time, there’s a bit of history here as we wander back in time with Rosemary to the war years when she met her husband, George.
The text has a soothing quality that you don’t see much of anymore. It’s not a page turner, and gets a bit slow in places, but sometimes a more sedate pace is what’s needed. I found it good bedtime reading, because it helped me unwind. My feminist heart is cheered by a story in which both main characters are female, and neither of them fits the tiny-but-fierce model that so many writers seem to favor. Kate is awkward. Rosemary is a fat old granny. Oh hell yes. Both are white women; there is a side character named Ahmed, but those looking for a truly diverse bit of fiction will have to look elsewhere.
Some readers are disturbed by blue language and sex scenes. Though the story isn’t entirely devoid of these, there’s very little of it. The text is accessible to anyone with a high school education.
There are moments where the sweetness goes over the top. I gagged when the Brownie troop joined the protest to save the pool, and I wondered how Rosemary could have dozens of sweet memories of George and not even a single resentful or ambiguous one. But these are relatively small concerns.
For those looking for a feel good story, this book is recommended.
What a sweet, lovely book that just makes you feel great after you are done with it. It evoked Fredrik Backman, author of A Man Called Ove, to me with that spirit of people with problems coming into their own and making a difference. It was uplifting.
Lido is a pool in Brixton, England, opened in the 1930's and now closing as an evil corporation that is buying the pool to build luxury apartments and plan to cement the pool over for a, gasp, tennis court. Rosemary, 87, has swum in the pool almost every day since she was 7. She stayed in London during the bombing and found her entertainment there. It was the site for class outings, her wedding and her marriage. Almost every memory she has is centered around that pool.
She meets a young, reporter, Kate, and becomes friends. They vow to save the pool together and enlist the community to help retain this beloved community gathering spot. Kate is fighting her battles with severe panic attacks and isolation and this opens a new world for her. The community plans some unique protests including a rubber ducky one that I just loved.
The story is about change and losing places that matter in people's lives so some corporation can get richer. It's hard to let go of our history. It's also about people coming together to make a difference and, most importantly, about hope. This is a book that will make you feel better after you've read. I definitely recommend it.
Thanks to Net Galley and the publisher for a copy of this book in exchange of a fair review. I would also like to thank the author for writing a book that is so uplifting. They are hard to find now.
This book is like a hug! Kate, is on the brink of a journalist career and feels more comfortable in her books than she does in real life. Rosemary aged 86, is upset to think the lido might be closing and wants to try everything she can to save it. Kate starts to write a story about it and their joint friendships and campaign begins in earnest.
The story, history, look and essence of the Lido reflects the lives and loves of the two women. They have highs and lows, problems and worries and realise what is important to them and their lives. Its also a story about community and community spirit. But it’s also a nice tale of how swimming can soothe the mind, be a way to escape the city
It’s a gentle read but one I really enjoyed. Sometimes, it;s nice to have a story which warms your heart, makes you smile and leaves you with a glow inside. A female friendship and how young and old can gain in their own way through joining forces over a joint concern. The realisation that the lido is symbolic of so much in their lives.
I really enjoyed this. It just makes you wonder how much of our past with the closure of so many parks, libraries etc are so woven into the very fabric of us and how, if people came together, more good could be done.
I also now want to go for a swim and adopt a dog called Sprout.
Bu kitap için tek bir sözcük söyleyecek olsam o “naif” olurdu.Çok naif çok tatlı bir aşk hikayesini temel alan bir kurgusu vardı.İlk okuduğumda sevmememin sebebi okumayı aceleye getirmemdi. Başlarda böyle durgun giden,mekan ve karakter odaklı bir kurguya odaklanamadım sonra yazarın diline alışınca aktı gitti. Rosemary ve George’un hikayesi çok güzeldi🥺 Karakterlerin hepsini sevdim sanırım. Bir romance okuma niyetiyle başlarsanız belki sevmeyebilirsiniz ama yakın arkadaşlıkların kurulduğu bir kasaba hikayesi okumak isterseniz bu kitap sizin için uygundur👍
I enjoyed this very much, and think the characters are well written. The story is a little bit predictable but I did like it. I could see it being made into a film extremely easily. The pace picked up after about a third, and I did like the sense of community that the book describes. I read that someone had described it as “charming” and I can totally see why. It’s a lovely, light read that isn’t too taxing but one that does tackle some important issues.