Published by Orion
Publication date – 19 April 2018
Source – own copy
Meet Rosemary, 86, and Kate, 26: dreamers, campaigners, outdoor swimmers…
Rosemary has lived in Brixton all her life, but everything she knows is changing. Only the local lido, where she swims every day, remains a constant reminder of the past and her beloved husband George.
Kate has just moved and feels adrift in a city that is too big for her. She’s on the bottom rung of her career as a local journalist, and is determined to make something of it.
So when the lido is threatened with closure, Kate knows this story could be her chance to shine. But for Rosemary, it could be the end of everything. Together they are determined to make a stand, and to prove that the pool is more than just a place to swim – it is the heart of the community.
The Lido is an uplifting novel about the importance of friendship, the value of community, and how
ordinary people can protect the things they love.
The lido is an oasis of calm in the whirlwind that is Brixton. It’s where children learn to swim, where people escape the day to day grind for a time, where memories are made and love is found. When the council threaten to close the Lido, Rosemary is determined to do something about it. Kate, a local reporter is sent to cover the story. Little does she realise that Rosemary, and the lido, will change her live in many ways.
Rosemary is a lovely character. The story of her and George is one that is just as central to the story as the lido itself. It is bittersweet to read about the great love of her life. It is the fact that the lido is the last link to her husband that drives Rosemary’s need to save it. The battle opens up the world to both her and Kate. Through the lido they both gain friends, experience new things and take leaps of faith. Kate is lonely. She shares a house with people she still doesn’t know. She cries herself to sleep most evenings and suffers from crippling anxiety. When she is given the story of the battle to save the lido she doesn’t foresee that the lido and it’s users will bring friends, confidence and drive into her life.
It was lovely to see the friendship between Rosemary and Kate develop. The two grow close, their ages irrelevant, and both are aware that their friendship is a legacy of the lido. Kate’s confidence grows as the story progresses, to such an extent that her actions surprise even herself.
This was a very easy to read novel. The short chapters allow the reader to glide through the story, justifying ‘just one more’ that soon turns into three or four. I found myself flying through the final third of the book. There’s a wonderful charm to the story, the way it’s told gives it shades of an almost fairy tale.
A warm, comforting, uplifting read. I look forward to reading more from Libby Page in the future.
This was book three in my #20BooksofSummer challenge.
About the author
Libby Page wrote The Lido while working in marketing and moonlighting as a writer. The Lido has sold in over twenty territories around the world and film rights have been sold to Catalyst Global Media. After writing, Libby’s second passion is outdoor swimming. Libby lives in London where she enjoys finding new swimming spots and pockets of community within the city. Follow Libby on twitter @libbypagewrites