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The Lido: The feel-good debut of the year Hardcover – 19 Apr 2018
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A testament to kindness and friendship (RADIO TIMES)
a joyful celebration of community and friendship (THE OBSERVER)
The next Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine (THE INDEPENDENT)
a timeless tale of friendship, love and chilly swims (SUNDAY EXPRESS)
What will win you over is the story of two women and the strength of their friendship (GRAZIA)
A beautifully written testament to unlikely friendship, the galvanising pursuit of common goals and lifelong passions which link individuals with their community (DAILY MAIL)
A standout hymn to female friendship and the power of collective action (Stylist)
Switching mainly between Rosemary and Kate's viewpoints, we quickly come to see that Rosemary is just as lonely as her new friend, steeped in a lifetime's memories of swimming in the lido (SUNDAY TIMES)
A novel of friendship, love and the importance of community - this is an absolute pleasure (WOMAN AND HOME)
Uplifting.. the pool is not just a place to swim - it's the heart of the community (BELLA)
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.See all Product description
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It's a gem of a book about friendship, finding your feet in a big city and learning to dive in at the deep end (not to mention Bechdel test-smashing)
I can't wait to see what's next from Libby!
The book is too long. The characters are flimsy. The writing gets worse throughout; it's like someone edited the beginning but then gave up.
What was the point of the fox? Why does a fox have chapters?
There was too much vomit-inducing stuff about George. And Frank and Jermaine don't seem to be able to do anything without holding hands or being wrapped round each other.
How did Kate and Jay use the showers and charge their laptops/ phones at the sit-in when the electricity had been turned off?
I would have liked to know what happened to Rosemary. She did not seem to be ill.
Another reviewer mentions the unlikelihood of the newspaper selling out in the way they did, and I agree. That episode was not believable. I felt even the author wasn't confident about it.
It's a lovely idea for a book, but it doesn't quite make it for me, and it seems I am not alone.
In essence this book is about friendship and its redemptive powers to heal, it’s about community and the things that connect us, it’s about love, loss and the cycle of life. Rosemary’s life has revolved around the Lido, especially caught up in it are memories of her beloved husband George and when it is threatened with closure, her world tilts on its axis and she faces the end of all she holds dear. Then there is Kate, for whom friendship with Rosemary and the fight to save the Lido from closure, offers her the possibility of release from the crushing, crippling loneliness that blights her life.
It’s a very moving read, but at the same time it’s full of joy and positivity, a remarkable range of emotions to experience within the same book. I was reduced to tears, I laughed and I felt a sense of intense loss at having to leave the characters behind as the last page was turned. The story gently grabbed hold of me as I read on the train. The world sped by and I could have been anywhere physically, because I was immersed in the story, enveloped by lives of the characters, their individual journeys and how each dovetailed into the place that connected them. This is a character led story, with a gentle reading pace, perfect for losing yourself in. Even the Lido felt as an important a character as Rosemary and Katie, because it’s central to the story and wraps us and them in its embrace. Gentle and funny in places, heartbreaking and sad in others, it’s a story about people more than events.
Rosemary is written with a deft hand, so much so, that I felt as if I knew her, she is caring, clever and I warmed to her within a few pages; while Katie struggling to find her place in the community, will remind so many readers of their own struggles, we have all at some time experienced her insecurities and yearning for friendship. There is richness in the depth and quality provided by all the supporting characters from Frank and Jermaine who run the book shop and Jay the photographer and they are all united by the battle to save the Lido. The layers of life within Brixton go as far as a fox that walks the streets, searching constantly for food, while the community searches for cohesion and the strength to fight off the developers.
The Lido is a remarkable first book by a writer, who loves and understands the complex nature of community, who creates characters who we can all recognise and relate to.
I look forward to what the writer does next.
Having grown up with a lido within walking distance of where I lived, I could relate to the sentiment of this book immediately. I spent my Summers there, swimming w ith my friends and my Dad used the pool everyday when he home from work. Like so many of these outdoor pools, it was shut down and an expensive health club put in it's place!
Kate, a twenty something, lonely journalist is sent to speak to Rosemary, an eighty six year ex librarian who had didn't get life in Brixton. Over the months they get to know each other, and between them and their friends they mount a campaign to face The Lido.
A really well written book which kept me turning the pages until the end, I couldn't go to sleep without bowing if they'd saved their Lido! I loved loved loved this book and highly recommend it.
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