The Lido Reader Reviews

The Lido

Joy Finlayson

There are some novels that ooze warm Summer days spent with friends - and The Lido really hits that mark. Amongst the recent deluge of heartwarming reads, The Lido will deservedly establish its place.

When Kate, a journalist, is asked to write an article on the likely closure of Brixton's outdoor swimming pool, she crosses paths with Rosemary - a woman, sixty years older than her, for whom the lido has played an integral role. What follows is a story rich in the joys of relationship and of finding community amongst the anonymous crowds of city life.

Whilst I was reading The Lido, I was always fully immersed in its plot and cared about its outworking. By Libby Page utilising her own experiences of London life and outdoor swimming, her written world is all the more believable. Although there are no surprises, its reflection of reality opens it up to a plethora of readers who will find comfort in its pages.

Libby Page's debut novel is assured in its easy manner, which reinforces its community-centric theme - I always felt as if I was cozying up with a close friend who would take time to understand me. Page's characterisation was adept. Both Kate and Rosemary, as well as the people who surround them, are well-rounded - emerging from the page with 3D personalities that endeared each one to me. Amongst the recent deluge of heartwarming reads, The Lido will deservedly establish its place as a worthwhile read.

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Emma Barton

An easy read that could appeal to all ages and will show you how important friendship is.

This is an enjoyable read that explores the friendship between Kate, a young journalist living and working in Brixton, and Rosemary an 87 year old local woman who is fighting to save the Lido from closure. The story explores the loneliness of the two characters and how their mutual interest in the Lido enriches the whole of their lives.

It is easy to read and you really do want them to win their fight. Unfortunately,  while the main characters are well developed, there are a lot of other people in the book who are mentioned, but you feel their stories are not fully realised.

Francesca Ashurst

The Lido by debut author Libby Page is an absolute joy. This is the feel good book of the year.

What an absolute joy it was to read The Lido. Debut author Libby Page has written a very special novel filled with kindness, compassion and hope.

Kate is a young journalist working for a local newspaper in Brixton. Alone in the city, fearful and anxious and prone to panic attacks she is struggling to survive. Rosemary is 86 and has lived all her life in Brixton. She is grieving the loss of her beloved George, her husband of sixty years. Their separate worlds combine when the local Lido is threatened with closure and Kate is sent to investigate. There's something really uplifting about the way these two women form a special friendship. 

Rosemary is a wonderful character and her history unfolds alongside the campaign to save the Lido. It is rare to encounter such a positive representation of an elderly woman.

I loved the way that the community is portrayed and how ultimately it is the strength of local people coming together to fight for something which produces change. 

There's a wonderful cast of supporting characters, a developing romance and a narrative that that is compelling. And it's a love song to the healing power of swimming, an activity which enabled Rosemary to survive the loss of her husband and for Kate to discover hidden strength and her place in the world.

I was completely gripped and finished with a sense of having read something really special. 

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Charlie Pritchard - Williams

I really loved the relationship between the two women, I took Kate to be early 20's which means a 60 year age gap between these good friends.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book, I only really read at night in bed, and I actually stopped reading Game of Thrones, A dance with dragons - 2: after the feast (which is brilliant but not quite as exciting as A feast for crows) but anyway I actually found The Lido a refreshing change and  looked forward to going to bed!

At first it felt like a first book, it seemed slightly naive, I kind of got the impression that Libby Page had been trying to fit every observation into this one book because she may not get another stab at the writing game etc... but either her writing changed or I just got used to it because the story then took over and I was hooked.  

I used to live in London and often went to the lido in Parliament Hill at the bottom of Hampstead Heath and now having read this I regret that I didn't explore more lido's, I knew there were other pools on the Heath.

I really loved the relationship between the two women, the interaction between them was very touching, I don't remember how old Kate was in the story, I imagined early 20's which means a 60 year age gap between them!  But I loved their back stories and how contrasting their lives had been.

One thing that took me by surprise and was the Rosemary's sex scenes. It's not that i'm against sex scenes, i've been reading Game of Thrones after all, but I guess for me I had been previously thinking my book worm of a 13 year old daughter would love this book, and now i've changed my mind.

The ending was rather sad but obviously inevitable and it was a touching tribute to have it in the Lido.

I would definitely look out for another book by Libby Page in the future as I really did enjoy reading this book.

 

Alison Bradbury

A beautifully gentle summer read that will captivate and enchant and leave you feeling like all is well in the world once more.

Wow, just wow. What a beautiful novel. This tells the story of two very different women, Rosemary and Kate. Kate is a journalist at the start of her career and struggling to find where she fits in the world. Rosemary is a widow and is wondering where the years have gone. The two women's worlds collide when Kate is assigned the job of covering the closure of Rosemary's beloved lido and a friendship is born that helps both women to come to terms with the changes in their lives. For Kate this means learning to live in the world and for Rosemary it means learning to live without her husband. At the centre of the story is an incredible sense of community spirit and the message that we should keep fighting, even when we are fighting against the odds. Libby Page manages to draw the reader into this world in a very gentle way so you feel like an observer but like a part of the story all at the same time. Superbly written this is well worth placing on your summer reading list. 

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Lucy Hall

The Lido is a great debut novel, the power of community shines through in this book, interweaving friendship, love & loss.

This book starts off slow as it builds the story surrounding The Brixton Lido, stick with it as the story really gets under your skin, by the end I had tears in my eyes! 

It’s a story of a local community affected by the potential closure of its most loved Lido which is steeped in history.  Kate is a 26 year old reporter new to London and Rosemary is an 86 year old local, an unlikely friendship is formed as they work together to save the Lido.

The story of Rosemary was the strongest part of this book for me, her relationship with her husband George melted my heart. 

A story of history, community and how when you pull together there is so much you can achieve. Totally heartwarming!

Jane Welby

This is a beautiful book about friendship, love and the value of community - and how working together can make people stronger, braver and kinder than when they’re struggling on alone.

The Lido is many things. For Rosemary, it is the place where she belongs, her home; it is where the memories of her beloved George are kept alive. For Kate, it becomes a place of support, friendship and community. The lido is the place where the community comes together and finds identity.

Kate, a young journalist struggling with loneliness and living away from home, meets Rosemary in the course of her work. Writing about the lido is just a job and Rosemary provides the human interest; but it becomes so much more. With Rosemary’s help,  Kate learns to let go of some of her fears and break free from the panic which has trapped her for so long. As friendships between the young girl, the octogenarian and members of the community develop, they work together to campaign against the closure of the pool.

This is a book about relationships – with each other and with places and communities. It is about emotions – love and fear, being trapped and being free, anxiety and trust. Libby Page weaves memories of the past with the events of the present against the backdrop of the lido and the relationships within the community skilfully and beautifully. I look forward to another book from this author and hope she will develop a prose that flows as effortlessly as the plots of her novels.

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Charlotte Walker

The Lido is a heart-warming, readable book. I enjoyed it very much.

This novel is a lovely summer reading book, or simply one to curl up and read one afternoon. A story of friendship and community takes the forefront as the big, bad multi million pound development company threatens to destroy the community that has been created in Brixton by independent shop-owners, Market Stallholders and swimmers at the local Lido. This is a tale of the strength of a community and community spirit found even in the rushing city of London.

 Kate is an interesting character and I quite liked the more detailed depiction of a character with anxiety than you would normally find in other more light-hearted books. I feel that that Kate is very relatable character that faces the struggle of living in a large city, and how this can have a negative effect on people. 

Florence however is for me a shining star, with the Lido acting almost as a secondary character trait come scrapbook, so integrated in to her life, it features in all her memories. The parts of the book from Florence’s perspective are heart-breaking in places; one particularly poignant moment for me was when she was brought nearly to tears while sunbathing at the lido simply because of the physical contact and caring act of Kate applying sun cream to her shoulders. 

I read this book in a day and found it easy to sit and devour. The plot is quite predictable, and yet I still found myself drawn in and invested in the future of the Brockwell Lido. A great holiday or sunny day read.

Jane Pepler

A fabulous, feel good read. This made me want to find my nearest outdoor pool.

This is a gently enthralling read. It is the story of Rosemary and Kate who are generations apart but come together to save the local lido. Both women are lonely and at a crossroads in their lives. 

Rosemary has always lived in Brixton and the Lido has been a huge part of her life and is full of memories for her, particularly since her husband has died. Now that the Lido is under threat, everything seems different.

Kate has just moved to live in London and feels very alone in her new life. The closure of the Lido is Kate's introduction to the world of outdoor swimming and the start of something new for her.

The book is beautifully written with well drawn characters and a real sense of community. Libby Page's debut is a great read and I look forward to reading her next book.

Kate Thacker

Get your tissues at the ready - but in a heartwarming way!

This is a great debut novel. A story of age, loss, friendship and community.

Kate, the young reporter suffering with her own issues is put to work writing a story on the closing on the local Lido. Rosemary, our 86 year widow swims there daily and it's an obvious treasure to her and many others in the community. Coming together they form a friendship that changes both their lives.

This is written so beautifully written. Filled with wit and charm, I could carry on with this book and can't wait for more from this Author.

Dawn Lynch

A book I will probably reread as I enjoyed it so much. It was a nice story and I don't usually have a lot of time to read but I made time to read this.

A real tearjerker I cried at the end. Loved the community stories that revolved around the lido which led to making friendships. I could relate to the swimming pool as I could remember the smell of the chlorine in the water and made a connection with Katie as I am a chatterbox and love chatting to everyone. I thought the start of the book was a bit slow at first but once I got I into it I could put it down. I felt sorry for Rosemary after her husband died as the Lido held precious memories for the couple. I can't wait to read more titles by Libby Page. It reminding me of the lido in Rottingdean that has been campaigning to save it. I felt like I was there as there were so many details about the market.

Jo Ann Hakola

This was like a trip back in the past for me and I enjoyed reading about the Kate and Rosemary. They make a good team!

Rosemary is 86 years old and swims in the lido (swimming pool) daily.  She's still in the apartment her and her husband have lived in all their married life, overlooking the lido. It's an important part of her life.  And now the local council want to close it and sell the land to a new developer...

This story brought back memories for me. I was a finance director in the past and if you mentioned closing the pool because it never made any money, you could fill the council chambers with folks who spoke against it. I also took care of my grandmother in the summer so I could relate to Rosemary. Rosemary has memories, too.

The councilors aren't listening to the local community, the newspaper editor tells Kate, a young reporter who has been working to help save the lido, is told to stop writing stories about the potential closure and the people affected and everyone is getting depressed and feeling hopeless. But they aren't giving up. The local community takes things into their own hands and protest.

Some of the characters disappointed me by their actions but they redeemed themselves before the story was over. 

 

Rachel Bridgeman

Feel good, cross generational story of 2 women who are looking to belong. The threatened closure of the local lido brings them together to fight a common goal and discover who they are.

Absolutely loved this book,it is a perfect spring/summer read!

It deals with themes of social isolation, relocation, women's roles in creating and sustaining communities amidst the hustle of modern life.

It looks at exercise as therapy(swimming) and social engagement as well as what it takes to pull people together when they have an aim. The Lido is representative of our need to belong and how we rely on other people for that sense of self. But when they are gone, and familiar surroundings are replaced with the strange, who, then are we?

Absolutely devoured this book, many thanks to LoveReading for the opportunity to read it in return for an honest review.

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Emma Caddick

A refreshing story that speaks to your heart, beautifully observed and crafted about hope and the power of community.

There is still a lump in my throat as I write this,  I have just finished the final page of The Lido, by Libby Page. Reading it has been as comforting as a blanket on a chilly day and as refreshing as a cold drink at the height of summer. It tells the story of Kate and Rosemary and their plight to save a Lido under threat of closure. 

Rosemary and Kate are unlikely friends and not at all the usual stereotypical 'sexy' heroines of a story. But it works, by god does it work. This is a story of friendship, loss, anxiety, hope and community, about standing up for what you believe in, in a world too often concerned with the easiest or most lucrative way out. 

Libby Page is a beautiful writer who has managed to craft a story that is both poetic and immediately relatable. Set in Brixton, the setting and characters are beautifully observed and burst from the page into life. A triumph of a debut novel, I can't wait to read more from this author. 

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Julie Bickerdyke

I cannot fault this book. An inspiring and emotional read that actually moved me to tears.

This a well thought out story with engaging characters and a realistic plot.  The author brings the players to life one by one and their interactions are integral to the story.  The characters were all believable and the reader is drawn in to their lives and problems.  Libby Page ensures you care what happens to them.

The story is gentle paced but intriguing.  The reader is drawn in to hoping that they will find a way to save the Lido from closure but more concerned with how the characters find friendship and a sense of community.

The friendship that blossoms between Rosemary, an elderly widow and Kate, a young journalist with self confidence issues is heart-warming.

Libby Page does a fine job of making you want to rush out and find the nearest lido to go swimming in. The book is exceptionally well written with faultless English and grammar.  There are no annoying cliches or jarring phrases.

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Siân Spinney

I loved the gentle nature of the book. The feeling of community that emanated throughout the story and how the characters pulled together in the bid to save an important part of the community. In fact I loved the book so much I have joined a group who swim in a local lake.

Kate is a lonely young journalist. Rosemary an elderly lady for whom the lido of the title is a very important part of her life. When the closure of the lido is announced, Kate is sent to report on it and so a beautiful story begins.

Rosemary slowly begins to tell Kate her story and we learn why the lido is so important to her. We learn a little of others who use the lido and ,along the way, Kate becomes a swimmer herself.

I loved the gentle nature of the book. The feeling of community that emanated throughout the story and how the characters pulled together in the bid to save an important part of the community.

In fact I loved the book so much I have joined a group who swim in a local lake.

Heather Byrne

Makes you want to get out your swimming costume and seek out your closest outdoor pool.

If any book is going to want you to seek out your local Lido, it is this one by Libby Page. This delightful novel brings two people from different generations together in their quest for company. Lonely for different reasons, they help each other and bring a close community even closer. Libby Page’s writing seems effortless and beautifully visual. She creates interesting and believable characters and brings Brixton to life.

Caroline Sara Walls

The Lido, a brilliant debut novel. A feel good story that will leave you feeling uplifted, happy and sad.

I absolutely loved The Lido. What a brilliant debut novel. The book captured the spirit of community life. I could relate to Kate's loneliness. This book was uplifting, sad and happy. The message I took from this wonderful story was never to give up. The Lido drew me in from the very start. A feel good story that weaves around the people in the community. A lovely story that made me wish that I had a lido in my community.

Caroline Sara

Sarah Webb

An antidote to so much of what’s currently going on in the world – and a joyous read.

This book made me smile so much!  Kate is a journalist, newly arrived in London and struggling to find her place in the world.  She’s sent to interview Rosemary for the local paper she works for.  Rosemary is 87 and a swimmer at the local lido which faces closure.  She’s also a force of nature in the best possible way.  The two become friends and Kate discovers a passion for swimming.

But what this book is really about is warmth, kindness, generosity, friendship, community and hope.  It’s a lovely story, joyously told.  Libby Page is a first time novelist.  I’m already waiting impatiently for her next book.

 

Book Information

ISBN: 9781409175209
Publication date: 19th April 2018
Author: Libby Page
Publisher: Orion (an Imprint of The Orion Publishing Group Ltd ) an imprint of Orion Publishing Co
Format: Hardback
Pagination: 384 pages
Genres: Reader Reviewed Books, Debuts of the Month, Relationship Stories,
Categories: Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945),