The Lido: The most uplifting, feel-good summer read of the year
By Libby Page
A joyous feel-good debut novel about community, friendship and outdoor swimming. Perfect for fans of Joanna Cannon’s The Trouble with Goats and Sheep and Gail Honeyman’s Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine.Tweet
Read as part of Gloucester Book Club. I found this book hard to get into and stick with. Many of my club members describe it as ‘nice’, an ‘all right’ read, and a couple liked it so much they gave it 10. Personally I found it lacked depth in its style, I found the bits about the protagonist ‘s recovery from anxiety rather unbelievable and too easy. Some parts of the author's writing are indeed beautiful but for me the story was a little safe, and at times cheesy.
An feel-good book set close by so a real 'local' book containing very real local themes. Loved the warmth and relationship between the two main characters. An easy and enjoyable read
The Lido by Libby Page
10 people were present to review this book and it was well liked by the majority of us.
We thought it was heart-warming without being gushingly sentimental and we cared about the characters and the situation they were trying to remedy. The book is about loneliness and the burgeoning friendship between two women. We felt as if we were in their lives and with them in their struggle to prevent the closure of their wonderful community asset.
We thought the back story of the two women was movingly portrayed with the anxiety and panic attacks of Kate accurately described. The love story of Rosemary and George felt very real and we loved the “little” details, eg when Rosemary goes to a local cocktail bar in the railway arches and as she leaves she looks above the door and there is George’s name because it used to be his fruit and veg shop. Magic!
This book is not about the plot, it is about the characters and how they grow, and the lido itself is a main character and is portrayed as such.
Only two people of the group were not enthusiastic and they were very much in the minority. They felt it was predictable, undemanding and a bit formulaic but one was comfortable knowing it was going to end well.
We would certainly read more by this author and we gave it 4*
Some reviews from one of our Community library book groups.
This feel good book was an easy read and something that you would pick up to take on holiday. I did enjoy it, especially the relationship between Kate and Rosemary.
I thoroughly enjoyed The Lido by Libby Page. A heart-warming story of hope and community spirit. Fight for what you believe in and what is important in your life regardless of age. The Lido will make a good movie I my opinion.
I struggled with this book to start with but I am so glad I did not give up. I loved the characters of Rosemary and Kate and the friendship that developed between them, fighting for something that was so important to them. For me the book was about the characters.
Libby Page has some good ideas in her debut novel but I got a bit frustrated and thought that she could have made more of them. There was also too much in it that I thought was irrelevant to the story and the book could have been a lot shorter.
Rosemary, 86, has loved in Brixton all her life, but the local community is changing fast and the local Lido, where she swims every day, is practically the only remaining link with her past and her beloved, late husband, George.
Kate, 26, and a journalist, has recently moved to Brixton, but is struggling to feel at home in the bustling capital, and is finding it a lonely and isolating experience.
When The Lido is earmarked for closure, Rosemary sees it as the final nail in the coffin for her memories, whilst Kate sees it has her big story and a chance to shine.
However what starts as a journalistic assignment for Kate, soon develops into a personal campaign, and as the two women are drawn together in the fight to save The Lido as the valuable community asset that it is, a deep friendship develops between the two women that more than bridges the gap in their respective ages and life experience.
The battle to save the Lido is ultimately what leads to them “saving” each other from their own sadness and problems
There is a real warmth, gentleness, kindness and sensitivity to the novel, and it has a cast of well-drawn characters.
It is a beautifully written, can't-put-down story of loneliness & friendship, love & loss, isolation & community - and of course Lido swimming.
If you love uplifting and heart-warming fiction this is definitely one for you!
The lives of 86 year old Rosemary and 26 year old Kate become entwined when they join forces to save their local lido from closure. For one of them the lido represents their whole life, for the other it becomes their life. This is a story about friendship and community, of having belief in oneself, of finding one’s past and one’s future. I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It’s a heart-warming read that does take you on a bit of an emotional rollercoaster but you’re left smiling at the end. I can see this story being adapted for the screen. Worth picking up.
A read as cosy and comfortable as a fluffy white towel. A charming, unchallenging, heartwarming story full of delightful characters who all help and support one another. If only real life were like this. Pure, unadulterated escapism. Lovely.
Such a lovely feel-good book, perfect for the summer!