The Lido

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 10 Jul 2018

Member Reviews

(My actual rating would be 3.5 stars.)

Two women come together for a common cause and form a deep friendship despite the difference in their ages. One enjoys the memories of her past; the other wants to find her future. Both women will find a measure of comfort in the relationship they share in the present even as they fight to save something they love. Author Libby Page charms readers and will leave them smiling with her debut novel The Lido.

People might look at Kate Mathews and think she’s in her prime: a single woman in her twenties who has just moved to a bustling London suburb with a new job. Kate knows, though, that her life is anything but ideal. She’s moved to Brixton, yes, but she desperately misses the security of her own hometown. She’s landed a job as a writer, but she’s not covering meaty topics important to society. Her little blurbs serve as filler for the local paper. As for friends, well, Kate has none. About the same amount as her self-confidence.

Then she gets assigned a real story. The Brixton lido, or open-air swimming pool, is slated to close soon, and Kate’s job is to talk to people and do a quick roundup of thoughts and sentiments. A prominent housing development company looks in perfect position to buy the lido to turn it into flats, and the story itself seems destined to play out in expected fashion.

Except that Kate wasn’t counting on getting caught up in the excitement surrounding the lido—the excitement to save it, that is. Rosemary Peterson is leading the campaign, and Kate’s editor picks Rosemary as the most likely source for the feel-good information behind the lido’s history. What Kate finds, instead, is a charming, compelling woman with strong feelings about why the lido should stay open. 

For Rosemary, the lido represents more than a place for invigorating exercise. She’s come to swim there every single day since it opened. She met her late husband, George, at the lido and shared some of her sweetest moments with him there. The lido provided shelter during wartime and solace during other life challenges. The lido, to Rosemary, embodies whole sections of her existence.

Rosemary consents to an interview but only if Kate goes swimming at the lido first. As Kate takes the plunge—literally and figuratively—with Rosemary, she discovers some special people of her own. All of a sudden, the cause for saving the lido becomes just as vibrant and necessary for Kate as it is for Rosemary, and the two become close friends and co-conspirators in how to save a place that has given them both so much.

Debut author Libby Page will charm readers with her two main characters. She’s drawn two endearing protagonists in Kate and Rosemary, and their friendship earns the highest score for the book. Rosemary’s love story resonates with all the best elements of an old-world tale; Kate’s loneliness in a large city rings true for newly-independent people everywhere.

Slightly less successful is the novel overall. Some parts of the story feel a little too pat, and serendipity plays a role in many places. Marketing materials compare Page’s book to Fredrik Backman’s A Man Called Ove, but Page’s prose doesn’t stand up to Backman’s lyrical talent nor his ability to pack deep thought into the most casual paragraphs. 

Readers will most likely guess important plot advancements and even the ending long before Kate and Rosemary get to them, but the journey through the story is likeable enough. Also, Page drops in little pieces of each of the protagonists’ independent lives to make readers feel like they’re getting to know the characters well: Rosemary reminisces about her time with George; Page talks to her older sister and gets a chance to refresh that relationship. 

Overall the book may not offer readers a staggering story, but it’s a pleasant novel appropriate for a vacation or the beach.
Was this review helpful?
Many thanks to netgalley for an arc of this book in return for an honest review.

I have to be honest - I really struggled with this book and found myself drifting whilst reading but I did persevere till the end.  It is what it is - a light hearted summer read about friendship in a community and that is about as far as it goes.  Am so sorry I cant be more positive but the subject matter just wasn't gripping enough for me.
Was this review helpful?
Lovely book about friendship between an old lady and a young, shy librarian.  The swimming pool is the connection between the two individuals as well as being an integral part of the community. I wasn’t as enamoured with the book as the majority of the reviewers were, but I will find it very easy to recommend as I think it will strike a chord with the majority of readers.
Was this review helpful?
The Lido is a lovely and charming read that is perfect for summer. The story centers around a  community lido in south London that is under threat of closing, and the unlikely friendship that develops between a young journalist in her twenties and an octogenarian widow. Kate Mathews writes community interest articles for the local Brixton paper and is tasked with writing about the lido. Through this assignment, she meets life-long Brixton resident Rosemary, who has swum at the lido daily for decades. So many of Rosemary's most cherished memories have taken place at the lido, and the thought of losing this special place feels like she is losing her beloved husband George all over again.

Kate is quickly drawn to Rosemary's story and to the lido itself. When she takes up swimming again under Rosemary's encouragement, Kate's panic attacks begin to fade away. She discovers the importance of community through her friendship with Rosemary and the other patrons of the lido. The two women set out to save the lido from a developer that plans to turn it into tennis courts belonging to a luxury apartment building. Along the way, they each gain something they've been missing. The lido is more than a place to swim; it is a way of life, a community gathering point, an antidote to loneliness, and a shimmering memorial to love and friendship. 

My favorite thing about Libby Page's debut novel is the heartwarming friendship between Rosemary and Kate. It's not often that books feature intergenerational friendship in this way, and it was so refreshing to read about. Their relationship is one of mutual respect, appreciation, and enrichment. Neither woman would have been able to accomplish what they did without the other standing (or swimming) by her side. 

I also really enjoyed the themes of community and of change. The Lido felt very timely in its focus on gentrification and urbanization. Many of Page's observations of London life were beautifully and vividly rendered. I enjoyed some of the short chapter vignettes that followed secondary and tertiary Brixton residents - and even a fox - as they went about their days. However, I did feel like this got a bit gimmicky after a while and took away from the strength of the main story.

For the most part, I found The Lido to be solidly written; there were even some sections of prose that were simply dazzling. Yet there were also many times I thought the writing was lackluster and a bit unrefined. A lot of the dialogue and interior monologues of the characters didn't ring true for me. Sadly, this often took me out of the story too much. Overall, The Lido felt like the debut that it is, and while there were some moments of brilliance, I can't help but wish it had been more polished and streamlined. As much as I adored the story and the characters, they were let down a bit by the writing.

The Lido is a sweet and entertaining read that is well worth dipping your toe into. This story of friendship, loss, community, and change is sure to tug on your heartstrings. It will make you long for a warm summer day, a cold outdoor pool, and a good friend at your side. 

**A huge thank you to NetGalley and Simon & Schuster for the opportunity to read this ARC in exchange for an honest review**
Was this review helpful?
LOVED this book. It’s such a sweet story line between generations! If you want a quick summer read, I recommend this one
Was this review helpful?
Nice read. Different plot to most ive read. Which was nice in this summer seaosn we were in. Could feel the outrage and wanting to close the Lido. Good interesting storyline and nice characters and well written
Was this review helpful?
Oh my goodness!
This is now at the top of my list of favorite books this year.
A simply sweet story about friendship and the joy of everyday life.
There was not one character I didn't like and I loved the different types of love that were shown in the book (siblings, couples, friends, etc).

This is a book I will recommend to people who are looking for a sweet, nice, feel good read.
Was this review helpful?
The Lido by Libby Page is a beautiful debut novel about the value of the community that surrounds us.  Centered around a fight to prevent the closing of a neighborhood pool, The Lido provides a refreshing look at the backdrop that shapes the lives of all who enter its walls.  From the 86 year old who swims every day to the reclusive journalist who finds herself being brought back to life in its cool waters, there exists a simple power to bring life into focus and knit together a community.  Will they be able to save the Lido?
Was this review helpful?
Excerpts
trailers
Cover reveals
More

Must-read women’s fiction: Books by Molly Harper, Karen White, Emily Giffin, Karma Brown and more
52 
shares
 share 
 tweet 
 email 
By: Leigh Davis | July 26, 2018 12:00 am 
So little time — so many books! This month we have double coverage of women’s fiction recommendations with both June and July books. So let’s dive in!
Little Big Love by Katy Regan
What it’s about:
Ten-year-old Zac Hutchinson collects facts: Octopuses have three hearts, Usain Bolt is the fastest man on earth.But no one will tell him the one thing he wants to know most: who his father is and where he went. 
When Zac’s mother, Juliet, inadvertently admits that his dad is the only man she’s ever loved, Zac decides he is going to find him and deliver his mom the happily ever after she deserves.
But Liam Jones left for a reason, and as Zac searches for clues of his father, Juliet begins to rebuild what shattered on the day that was at once the happiest and most heartbreaking of her life. 
Told through the eyes of Zac, Juliet, and grandfather Mick, Little Big Love is a layered, heartfelt, utterly satisfying story about family, love, and the secrets that can define who we are.
The right stuff: Zac is adorable! Complex family relationship is compelling, and point of view creates an ideal story. A winner!
The Lost for Words Bookshop by Stephanie Butland
What it’s about:
Loveday Cardew prefers books to people. If you look carefully, you might glimpse the first lines of the novels she loves most tattooed on her skin. But there are some things Loveday will never, ever show you.
Into her hiding place – the bookstore where she works — come a poet, a lover, and three suspicious deliveries.
Someone has found out about her mysterious past. Will Loveday survive her own heartbreaking secrets?
The right stuff: Marketed as a bibliophile delight, and it is true! Loveday will capture your heart as you become engrossed in the story of her guarding her own heart — from disappointment and betrayal. Wonderful backdrop romance as her Prince Charming helps break down the walls.
The Lido by Libby Page
What it’s about:
Rosemary Peterson has lived in Brixton, London, all her life but everything is changing.
The library where she used to work has closed. The family grocery store has become a trendy bar. And now the lido, an outdoor pool where she’s swum daily since its opening, is threatened with closure by a local housing developer. It was at the lido that Rosemary escaped the devastation of World War II; here she fell in love with her husband, George; here she found community during her marriage and since George’s death.
Twentysomething Kate Matthews has moved to Brixton and feels desperately alone. A once promising writer, she now covers forgettable stories for her local paper. That is, until she’s assigned to write about the lido’s closing. Soon Kate’s portrait of the pool focuses on a singular woman: Rosemary. And as Rosemary slowly opens up to Kate, both women are nourished and transformed in ways they never thought possible.
The right stuff: This book has been compared to Fredrik Backman’s A Man Called Ove because of its heartwarming theme of multigenerational relationships. It’s a marvelous flashback romance and features a developing one. There’s also a Goliath theme — a little guy against big business.
Ain’t She a Peach by Molly Harper
What it’s about:
An Atlanta ex-cop comes to sleepy Lake Sackett, Georgia, seeking peace and quiet—but he hasn’t bargained on falling for Frankie, the cutest coroner he’s ever met.
Frankie McCready talks to dead people. Not like a ghost whisperer or anything—but it seems rude to embalm them and not at least say hello.
Fortunately, at the McCready Family Funeral Home & Bait Shop, Frankie’s eccentricities fit right in. Lake Sackett’s embalmer and county coroner, Frankie’s goth styling and passion for nerd culture mean she’s not your typical Southern girl, but the McCreadys are hardly your typical Southern family.
The right stuff: The funeral home and bait shop combo is pure quirkiness, and it works! Frankie’s eccentricity is too droll. Plenty of romance. Southern idiosyncrasies at their most amusing.
The Late Bloomers’ Club by Louise Miller
What it’s about:
Nora, the owner of the Miss Guthrie Diner, is perfectly happy serving up apple cider donuts, coffee, and eggs-any-way-you-like-em to her regulars, and she takes great pleasure in knowing exactly what’s “the usual.” But her life is soon shaken when she discovers she and her free-spirited, younger sister Kit stand to inherit the home and land of the town’s beloved cake lady, Peggy Johnson. 
Kit, an aspiring—and broke—filmmaker thinks her problems are solved when she and Nora find out Peggy was in the process of selling the land to a big-box developer before her death. The people of Guthrie are divided—some want the opportunities the development will bring, while others are staunchly against any change—and they aren’t afraid to leave their opinions with their tips.
Time is running out, and the sisters need to make a decision soon. But Nora isn’t quite ready to let go of the land, complete with a charming farmhouse, an ancient apple orchard and the clues to a secret life that no one knew Peggy had. Troubled by the conflicting needs of the town, and confused by her growing feelings towards Elliot, the big-box developer’s rep, Nora throws herself into solving the one problem that everyone in town can agree on—finding Peggy’s missing dog, Freckles.
The right stuff: Miller does a wonderful job of showcasing the complex relationships we have with our siblings and how to lose the judgment and accept differences. Great sense of community, too!
The Lost Queen of Crocker County by Elizabeth Leiknes
What it’s about:
Crocker County crowns a new Corn Queen every year, but Jane Willow’s the one you would remember. She can’t forget Iowa, either. Even though she fled to LA to become a film critic years ago, home was always there behind her.
But when a family tragedy happens, she’s forced to drive back to Crocker County. The rolling farmlands can’t much hide the things she left behind: the best friend she abandoned who now runs a meatloaf hotline, the childhood front porch that sits hauntingly empty, and that fiasco of a Corn Fest that spun her life in a different direction. 
Before Jane can escape her past a second time, disaster strikes, and she will have to find a way to right her mistakes and save herself from her regrets. An unflinchingly love letter to the Midwest that unfolds through a celebration of movies, this ferociously endearing novel brings home the saving grace of second chances. 
The right stuff: Pure delight for film buffs. Riveting story of small-town girl transformed into mocking, skeptical sophisticate until she returns home and finds the courage to forgive herself and “make it right.” Strong multifaceted heroine. Wonderful “Believe So” theme.
All We Ever Wanted by Emily Giffin
What it’s about:
Nina Browning is living the good life after marrying into Nashville’s elite. More recently, her husband made a fortune selling his tech business, and their adored son has been accepted to Princeton. 
Yet sometimes the middle-class small-town girl in Nina wonders if she’s strayed from the person she once was.
Tom Volpe is a single dad working multiple jobs while struggling to raise his headstrong daughter, Lyla. His road has been lonely, long, and hard, but he finally starts to relax after Lyla earns a scholarship to Windsor Academy, Nashville’s most prestigious private school.
Amid so much wealth and privilege, Lyla doesn’t always fit in—and her overprotective father doesn’t help—but in most ways, she’s a typical teenaged girl, happy and thriving.
Then, one photograph, snapped in a drunken moment at a party, changes everything. As the image spreads like wildfire, the Windsor community is instantly polarized, buzzing with controversy and assigning blame.
At the heart of the lies and scandal, Tom, Nina, and Lyla are forced together—all questioning their closest relationships, asking themselves who they really are, and searching for the courage to live a life of true meaning.
The right stuff: Giffin combines today’s relevant themes of boys will be boys, the impact of social media and the MeToo movement into a compelling read.
Dreams of Falling by Karen White
What it’s about:
On the banks of the North Santee River stands a moss-draped oak that was once entrusted with the dreams of three young girls. Into the tree’s trunk, they placed their greatest hopes, written on ribbons, for safekeeping—including the most important one: Friends forever, come what may.
But life can waylay the best of intentions….
Nine years ago, a humiliated Larkin Lanier fled Georgetown, South Carolina, knowing she could never go back. But when she finds out that her mother has disappeared, she realizes she has no choice but to return to the place she both loves and dreads—and to the family and friends who never stopped wishing for her to come home.
Ivy, Larkin’s mother, is discovered badly injured and unconscious in the burned-out wreckage of her ancestral plantation home. No one knows why Ivy was there, but as Larkin digs for answers, she uncovers secrets kept for nearly fifty years—whispers of love, sacrifice, and betrayal—that lead back to three girls on the brink of womanhood who found their friendship tested in the most heartbreaking ways.
The right stuff: This one is everything you’ve come to expect from a Karen White book. Strong female friendships, a second chance at love and a great family mystery! (See an excerpt on HEA from Dreams of Falling.)
The Life Lucy Knew by Karma Brown 
What it’s about:
After hitting her head, Lucy Sparks awakens in the hospital to a shocking revelation: the man she’s known and loved for years—the man she recently married—is not actually her husband. In fact, they haven’t even spoken since their breakup four years earlier. The happily-ever-after she remembers in vivid detail—right down to the dress she wore to their wedding—is only one example of what her doctors call a false memory: recollections Lucy’s mind made up to fill in the blanks from the coma.
Her psychologist explains the condition as honest lying, because while Lucy’s memories are false, they still feel incredibly real. Now she has no idea which memories she can trust—a devastating experience not only for Lucy, but also for her family, friends and especially her devoted boyfriend, Matt, whom Lucy remembers merely as a work colleague.
When the life Lucy believes she had slams against the reality she’s been living for the past four years, she must make a difficult choice about which life she wants to lead, and who she really is.
The right stuff: An imaginative (and horrifying) plot of memories that are not truly memories. Strong romance and a true happy ending!
Leigh Davis is a former contributor to Heroes and Heartbreakers. When she is not reading, she’s usually outside throwing balls to her insatiable dogs. She loves hearing and talking about great books. You can connect with her on Twitter and Goodreads.
MORE ON HEA: See more posts by Leigh
Elizabeth Leiknes, Emily Giffin, Karen White, Karma Brown, Kate Regan, Libby Page, Louise Miller, Molly Harper, Stephanie Butland, women's fiction, Recommended reads, Top stories
Was this review helpful?
There’s the old adage “you can’t judge a book by Its cover”.  The cover of  the “The Lido” - a sumptuous aquamarine depiction of lanes of a swimming pool, complete with swimmer and jaunty red and white life-belt - renders the book irresistible, and I succumbed immediately, also intrigued by the book’s description promising a tale of two woman, 60 years apart in age, joining forces, and friendship, to save the much-loved community asset Brockwell Lido from greedy property developers.  

I wanted to like it, I really did, especially when so many other reviewers extolled it’s feel-good factor and the hype surrounding the book suggested an immediate pre-publication six-figure deal  for its brand new author and a film planned to follow.

But, I just didn’t get it.  The plot of two lonely people - 86 year old widower Rosemary who remembers the halcyon days through childhood and her long marriage to her beloved George spent at the lido and Kate, a troubled young reporter sent to write a story for the local newspaper, uniting to save it from closure but saving each other in the process - could have been sparky and vibrant.  However, the writing was prosaic, pedestrian and predictable, far too nice and oh so dull.  Anyone seriously writing “she is littler than” in adult fiction is going to immediately get my back up.  Whilst there were a few poignant moments when I began to hope for more it didn’t deliver and continued its way on to a fully expected neat and predictable ending.
Was this review helpful?
3.5 stars rounded up. My thanks go to Simon and Schuster and Net Galley for inviting me to read and review this charming debut. This book is for sale now. 

Kate is a journalist, painfully shy, anxious, and lonely. Rosemary is an elderly widow. When the Lido—which I learned is an open air swimming pool—in Brixton is slated to close, Rosemary is up in arms. She isn’t usually an activist, but she has swum in this pool her entire life, and many of the most memorable events she has experienced took place there. She loves it still, and she cannot abide the fact that the lido is being sold to private developers who want to put up “swish new high rises.” Rumor has it that it won’t even remain a swimming pool; they may pave it over and put in tennis courts. Rich folks love tennis. 

Kate smells a story, and she wants to interview Rosemary. Rosemary makes a counteroffer: she’ll do the interview only after Kate has swum at the Lido. 

For Kate, this is traumatic. She isn’t crazy about her own body, and the thought of disrobing in front of others in a locker room nearly undoes her. But she swims, and she gets her interview. Over the course of the fight to save the lido, which Kate joins, she and Rosemary become good friends, and Kate’s own life blossoms. At the same time, there’s a bit of history here as we wander back in time with Rosemary to the war years when she met her husband, George. 

The text has a soothing quality that you don’t see much of anymore. It’s not a page turner, and gets a bit slow in places, but sometimes a more sedate pace is what’s needed. I found it good bedtime reading, because it helped me unwind. My feminist heart is cheered by a story in which both main characters are female, and neither of them fits the tiny-but-fierce model that so many writers seem to favor. Kate is awkward. Rosemary is a fat old granny. Oh hell yes. Both are white women; there is a side character named Ahmed, but those looking for a truly diverse bit of fiction will have to look elsewhere. 

Some readers are disturbed by blue language and sex scenes. Though the story isn’t entirely devoid of these, there’s very little of it.  The text is accessible to anyone with a high school education. 

There are moments where the sweetness goes over the top. I gagged when the Brownie troop joined the protest to save the pool, and I wondered how Rosemary could have dozens of sweet memories of George and not even a single resentful or ambiguous one. But these are relatively small concerns. 

For those looking for a feel good story, this book is recommended.
Was this review helpful?
The Lido left me with tears in my eyes and a smile on my face.  Like Frederick Backman (before the darkness of Beartown and Us Against You), Libby Page writes a character-forward, heart-felt story that will leave you loving her characters and cheering them on.

I want to be an old woman like Rosemary.
Was this review helpful?
3.5 stars for me.
This book was a light read that took me forever to get through, it just wasn’t all that interesting to me.
Rosemary is 86 yrs old and five years ago lost her husband George.  They have always lived in a flat within sight of the The Lido (city pool).  The Lido had actually been part of their lives since their youth.
A corporation comes in and wants to buy the land and close up the pool to build tennis courts for their new housing development plans.
This book is about the path to save the Lido and friendships Rosemary has made along the way, especially with a young news reporter named Kate who does a story on The Lido’s planned  closing.
Just a cute little story.

Thank you to Netgalley and Simon & Schuster for the digital book!
Was this review helpful?
I had to look up what "lido" meant.  I hadn't heard of the term before.  I LOVED this book.  I thought the development of the two woman characters was fantastic.  May we all have a love like Rosemary and George.  I so enjoyed their story.  And Kate was such a sweet person.  I loved the development of the relationship of the two women.  I haven't been swimming in 30 years but this books makes me want to.
Was this review helpful?
This novel is a lovely story of overcoming loss and loneliness by reaching out to others with tiny caring gestures.

The main character in “The Lido” is (you guessed it!) the lido.  I broadened my vocabulary by looking up this word in the dictionary and found out that it is pronounced “LEE-doh” (since it’s a word borrowed from the Italian language), and it means “outdoor pool”.  This lido is a survivor.  Born in 1937, this outdoor pool survived all of the bombings of London and stayed open throughout the war for the enjoyment of those who couldn’t afford to flee the city and move to the countryside.  The lido is a sensory escape, a beach in the city, a meeting place, a haven for the community.  It’s such a friendly little lido, and it’s open all year round for hardy Londoners who are apparently impervious to the cold.  So now in 2018, when the lido is threatened with closure, when a bunch of men in expensive suits want to buy it and fill it with concrete and turn it into a tennis court to be used exclusively by luxury apartment dwellers, I was fighting for the lido’s survival right along with Kate and Rosemary.

Kate is a young journalist who is assigned to write a newspaper story about the lido and the threat of its closure.  She’s a very sensitive person who is easily startled by noises, who looks at the ground when she walks because the commotion of the city overwhelms her senses.  As she writes her story, she finds an escape at the lido and she finds a dear friend in Rosemary.
 
Rosemary has spent all of her 86 years in the Brixton neighborhood of London.  Like the lido, Rosemary is a survivor, tough but friendly.  

This novel is written in present tense, which I found very distracting (but I consider myself to be an old-fashioned reader, and others may not have any issue with this).  Past events are only available to the reader in a series of flashbacks and memories.  And those flashbacks were so excessively repetitive that it made me wonder if the author had to meet a page quota.  The sense of immediacy and present moment living that I felt when reading in the present tense was completely negated by the constant repetition of certain memories.  For example, even using all of my fingers and toes, I cannot count the number of times that I read a detailed description of how Rosemary watched her husband dive from the diving board of the lido, how clean and perfect his dive was, and how he smiled at Rosemary and melted her heart as he emerged from the water.  The first time that I read that scene, I felt all of the love and joy in it, and I felt the beautiful tie between one heart and another heart.  The second time I read that scene, and the third, and the fourth, etc., it just felt more and more melodramatic and sappy.

I believe that if the repetitious sections of this novel were removed, it would become an emotionally powerful and compelling read.  I think the writing style and character development is quite lovely, and I’m interested in following this author as she perfects her craft in future novels.

Thanks so much to NetGalley and Simon & Schuster for this free ebook in exchange for my review.
Was this review helpful?
What a lovely, lovely book!

A lido, for the benefit of my fellow Americans who've never encountered the word before (other than via references to the Lido Deck on The Love Boat re-runs), is an outdoor pool. And in The Lido, it's so much more than simply a place to swim. For the Brixton neighborhood, the lido is a fixture dating back to pre-World War II, a place where members of the community of all walks of life come together to exercise, to raise children, to chat with friends, to interact with neighbors. But as with so much in this day and age, a community gathering center that doesn't bring in big bucks has a hard time lasting, so when a development company wants to buy the property and turn it into upscale housing and tennis courts -- well, of course that's a tempting offer for a cash-strapped local council.

And yet, there are people like 86-year-old Rosemary, who has had the lido as a centerpiece of her life for more years than she can count. Her memories of her late husband -- and really, their entire love story -- are inseparable from the memories of the moments they spent together at the lido. The lido remains the true constant in Rosemary's life, and in the lives of countless of her neighbors. The potential loss of the lido is like one more death for Rosemary, and seems to represent the final, shattering blow for a woman who's lived through so much and has already lost the love of her life.
George is in the way the mist sits on the water in the morning, he is in the wet decking and the brightly colored lockers and in the sharp intake of breath when she steps into the water, reminding her that she is still alive. Reminding her to stay alive.
For Kate, the lido starts off as merely a newspaper assignment, but as she comes to know Rosemary, Kate begins to connect with the community that's sprung up around the lido, and even rediscovers her own joy of swimming, something lost to her as an adult who is often overwhelmed by anxiety and panic. Kate becomes invested personally in saving the lido, and through her deepening friendship with Rosemary, finally finds a community that she belongs to.
But there was something about Kate that made Rosemary think she was in great need of a swim.
Rosemary and Kate are both wonderful characters. Rosemary is strong and wise, but still mourning her beloved George. Kate is a vulnerable young adult who has had the confidence drained out of her over the years -- but Rosemary and the lido seem to give her a new purpose and a new sense of self, enabling her to emerge from her shell and truly connect.

I loved the chapters filled with Rosemary's memories of her courtship, romance, and early years with George -- and also the memories of their more mature years, such as the time they snuck into the lido late one night for a midnight swim and then couldn't get back over the fence to sneak away. The depiction of the fire brigade rescuing this 70-something-year-old couple is priceless.

The story is told through multiple viewpoints, not just those of Rosemary and Kate, but also nameless characters such as a pregnant woman and a teenage boy who each find meaning in their lido swims. We even see certain events through the eyes of a fox -- and crazy as that might sound, it absolutely works.

Most of all, the friendship between Rosemary and Kate is simply beautiful. The two women are separated by sixty years of life, but they're brought together by their loneliness, and find in one another someone to listen, to care, to be there for, and to laugh with.
Kate thinks of the first time she swam with Rosemary, how the old woman seemed to become young in the water, and how she, Kate, felt the unsteadier one. She had felt then that Rosemary's strength was tucked away beneath her dry-land clothes, a hidden power unleashed not by a cape but by a navy blue swimsuit.
I really can't say enough good things about this book! The Lido paints a gorgeous picture of the power of community, the importance of connections, and how great a gift friendship can be, not matter how surprising the package it comes in.
Was this review helpful?
This was a lighthearted fun read! Perfect for the summer. I loved the development of the characters & they'd friendship. I loved learning about Rosemary's life. 
The lido is such an important place to these people and it was such an experience to learn about them & the history of the place.
Was this review helpful?
This book was a lot of fun to read! It was as if two worlds were colliding. See the link for an interview with the author.
Was this review helpful?
What a gem this book is! It is a story of friendship, determination, and perseverance.

Summer is here and if you don’t already have this book you need to pick it up! I spent part of my time reading this while floating in the pool, which is extremely fitting for the theme of the book. At one point I even got off my raft and tried to figure out what a corkscrew kick might be. I’m still not really sure what it is, but I have little doubt that it would probably make me quite dizzy.

Kate works for the Brixton Chronicle and is asked to write a story about the impending closure of the lido. She meets and interviews Rosemary, who has been swimming at the lido for decades. Rosemary’s whole life has revolved around the lido and it pains her to think about it closing. Kate is somewhat of a misfit in the town of Brixton and is extremely lonely even though she has four other housemates. Rosemary and Kate bond over the lido and form an unlikely friendship. It is through this friendship that these two women decide they are not going to take the closing of the lido sitting down and set out together to save it.

What a quaint little town Brixton is! I love the small town feel and the people are fantastic! It is the kind of town where everyone knows everyone. They open their doors and hearts in the name of kindness and friendship.

The final chapters were beautiful and extremely touching. Now don’t cheat, but the very last sentence of this book was fantastic! It is the best last line I have read in quite some time!!

This book was a real joy to read. The friendships forged were sweet and genuine. It shows that there are times, when you least expect it, that the right person can appear in your life and bring it new meaning and happiness that you may not have even realized you needed.
Was this review helpful?
What an absolutely delightful book!  Exquisitely written  with wonderful characters, a beautiful story, and descriptions that bring the setting alive..  Friendship, loneliness, death and beginnings - all are themes in this book.  I loved it!
Was this review helpful?