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Wednesday, 30 May 2018

#BookReview The Lido By Libby Page


ABOUT THE BOOK

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.

Published by Orion
Hardcover page count - 384

Purchase Links




MY REVIEW

I adored this book! From the first few pages you are immediately drawn into the world of Kate, who is struggling with anxiety in the world she lives in and often shuts herself away in her flat. She works at the local paper and is soon given the chance of writing a story about the local Lido which is soon to be demolished. Kate doesn't know that working on this story is set to change her life and her outlook and help banish some of those demons living inside her head.

Rosemary is 86 and a regular swimmer at the Lido. It has become her second home since the loss of her beloved husband, and the thought of it no longer being there springs her into action to try and save the little piece of heaven that means so much to her and many others in the community. To the 'men in suits' it is just a building, but to those who use the Lido it means so much more - where romances start, friendships are made, childhood memories abound - and to lose that can be devastating for those living in the area.

Kate is sent to interview Rosemary and the most wonderful and touching friendship begins these two women and it was just a delight to read how this bond strengthens throughout, how they both help each other personally and of what can be achieved when people in a community pull together.

I loved the sense of community throughout, and also how we see that despite the struggles that both characters face throughout, there is always that thread of hope and how unlikely friendships blossom. Kate and Rosemary are two amazing characters as well - Kate suffers with anxiety and you get a real sense of the terror she often feels in those moments when the walls seem to be closing in on her, and Rosemary is still struggling with life without her beloved George and it was so joyous to look back on their life together through her eyes.

I had tears in my eyes by the end but my heart was filled with so much love and all the feels and I cannot recommend this book highly enough! If you loved Eleanor Oliphant by Gail Honeyman, or A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman, then this is the book for you!


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