The Lido

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 10 Jul 2018

Member Reviews

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.
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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!
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This is a very touching story about an 87-year old woman named Rosemary who lives in the Village of Brixton in England. Her apartment's balcony overlooks "The Lido," otherwise known as the local community pool. More than anything else in her long life, she associates this pool with much of her happiness and fondest memories. She swam there as a child during the war, and even had her first date there with George, her beloved late husband. Now at the age of 87, she still starts her mornings at the lido with a refreshing swim, then hangs her wet swimsuit to dry like a triumphant banner on her balcony. In fact, most of the time the doors to her balcony are open so as to let the welcoming sights and sounds of the lido drift in. 

Now the lido is in danger of closing, targeted by a firm named "Paradise Living" to be cemented over and become a private members' gym. Rosemary spearheads a protest effort by distributing homemade "Save the Lido" fliers throughout the neighborhood. This comes to the attention of the local newspaper who assigns newbie reporter Kate to flesh out an article. To that end, Kate contacts Rosemary for an interview, which triggers major changes in Kate's life for the better. Rosemary insists that Kate go for a swim before she will grant Kate an interview. Kate complies, finding the peace and serenity it provides a soothing revelation. A sufferer of panic attacks, battling depression and anti-social tendencies, Kate finds the lido's waters replenishing to her well-being. Kate authors a running series of articles on the mounting anti-closure lido protest, of which she becomes an enthusiastic participant. At the same time, she becomes a loving and close friend to Rosemary. In doing so, she opens the door to other friendships and even romance.

This was a gentle, pleasant and poignant story that will touch your heart with its sense of community and simple pleasures in life.
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Been leaving this to read for a while and as I keep hearing about it, i wantednto forget the hype I've heard and seen in order to get a fair read.

This book was lovely really showed friendship and how old and young can do anything and they bring each other out of their shells.

Truely an amazing book. Author did a good job writing it and cant wait to read more!
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When Rosemary Peterson, an elderly widow with a lifetime of loving memories of her deceased husband George, and Kate Matthews, a young woman with anxiety issues meet, great things happen. Kate is chosen to write an article about the Lido, a large outdoor swimming pool in Brixton for her local newspaper, and Rosemary is the one with the most loving, fondest memories of her time spent there with her husband. I thought this was a beautiful story of friendship despite the huge age difference between Rosemary and Kate.  Loving and tender, this book shows how age means nothing when love is involved. You'll be reaching for your hankie. I thought the book was a bit too long and drawn out in certain chapters, but I really loved the ending. Thank you to netgalley for offering this book for an honest review.
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Thanks to NetGalley and @simon&schuster for the chance to read an early digital copy of this novel.  I've been on a quite a streak of thrillers lately and hadn't found a satisfying contemporary slice of life read until I splashed into The Lido by Libby Page.  This book is just as delightfully refreshing as a swim in the pool!  

Lonely journalist Kate is finally asked to do her first feature for the local paper on the imminent shutdown of the Brixton Lido (that's British for outdoor swimming pool 😉 ).  While digging up the human-interest side of the story, Kate meets Rosemary who has swum at the lido almost daily for 80 years.  As Kate becomes more involved in the lives of the locals, can she help to save the lido from closure? 

Author Libby Page is wonderfully descriptive, her words bring to life hot summer skies and cool blue water. In this novel of women and community Page carefully illustrates how women can be both confident and terrified, excited and anxious, surrounded by people yet still lonely. She captures the inner voice with such clarity that even as the book began to drag towards the end, I still wanted to finish. I am highly recommending this beautiful beach read—4 stars!
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I can definitely see where the blurbs would get the idea that this book is like a Frederik Backman book. While I did see that comparison, I also saw that while it was similar, it wasn't quite as good.

However, this was definitely a "feel good" book. I can't believe the whole thing was about people not wanting to close down The Lido (a local pool wherein the widow character has been swimming for 80 years).

All during the book, my mind was telling me "all this ruckus over a pool?". However, I kept reading. There were some excellent characters and the writing was done well. I just went with the flow and I'm glad that I did.

Thanks to Simon & Schuster and Net Galley for providing me with a free e-galley in exchange for an honest, unbiased review.
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This was one of my favorite books of the summer. A young journalist meets an elderly swimmer when she is researching the closure of her lifelong swimming pool for a story. The two forge an unlikely bond as they work to save the beloved lido from gentrification. It was simply sweet and the last chapter brought tears to my eyes.
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This is a story about a lido in Brixton, London, that is threatened with closure when a private company try to buy it from the local council to redevelop it into a members only gym. A shy journalist with crippling anxiety is given the job of covering the story for the local newspaper and along the way she befriends the lido's 'most loyal swimmer', an 86 year old lady. 

The Lido isn't the most exciting book I have read, but it is a very gentle and charming story, perfect for hot summer afternoons when you don't want to tax your brain too much.
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The first quarter was a bit of a slow start for me, but the lovely writing and engaging characters won me over as I read further. While a fairly predictable storyline, the unusual friendship that develops between a young female journalist and an 87 yo widow in Brixton as they fight to save the closure of their local lido is sweet and fresh. And this story speaks to how local landmarks help unify a community and can often become a very real home and refuge in a stress-filled modern world. As a first novel, a very nice start!

Thanks to #NetGalley & #SimonandSchuster for the ARC. The opinions are strictly my own.
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What a sweet, lovely book that just makes you feel great after you are done with it. It evoked Fredrik Backman, author of  A Man Called Ove, to me with that spirit of people with problems coming into their own and making a difference.  It was uplifting.

  Lido is a pool in Brixton, England, opened in the 1930's and now closing as an evil corporation that is buying the pool to build luxury apartments and plan to cement the pool over for a, gasp, tennis court.  Rosemary, 87, has swum in the pool almost every day since she was 7. She stayed in London during the bombing and found her entertainment there. It was the site for class outings, her wedding and her marriage. Almost every memory she has is centered around that pool.

  She meets a young, reporter, Kate, and becomes friends. They vow to save the pool together and enlist the community to help retain this beloved community gathering spot. Kate is fighting her battles with severe panic attacks and isolation and this opens a new world for her. The community plans some unique protests including a rubber ducky one that I just loved.

  The story is about change and losing places that matter in people's lives so some corporation can get richer. It's hard to let go of our history. It's also about people coming together to make a difference and, most importantly, about hope. This is a book that will make you feel better after you've read. I definitely recommend it.

  Thanks to Net Galley and the publisher for a copy of this book in exchange of a fair review. I would also like to thank the author for writing a book that is so uplifting. They are hard to find now.
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This is a debut novel by Libby Page. The book tells the story of a community and of the characters of individuals who come together to try to save the neighborhood pool or lido.

Each character is explored through their connection to the pool and then beyond. The action centers on Rosemary and Kate.

Rosemary is in her eighties and has gone to the lido for most of her life. While other children were taken out of the city during WWII to avoid bombs, her mother kept her close at hand so she has never been without the lido. When a posh apartment developer shows up to close the pool, Rosemary is inspired to try to save it.

Kate is a young journalist who is having problems adjusting to her place in life. She meets Rosemary, who challenges her to try the lido. When she does, she is also inspired to help Rosemary in her quest.

The story tells of their quest and that of those whose life touches and intersects with them.

The story made me laugh and made me cry. It made me think and daydream. It made me want to know more about the people who surrounded the lido. I can’t think of anything more I could ask for in a novel.

I look forward to more books in the future by this talented author.

I was provided a digital advance reader copy of this book by the publisher via Netgalley.
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Though I found the prose style somewhat flat, I was moved by the story itself and found it a touching exploration of community, friendship and love.  A good example of the new "up-lit" genre.
 3.5 stars.
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Have you ever moved to a new city or state and been nearly swamped by loneliness? I have! And that's Kate Matthew's situation now that she's moved to South London and gotten a job reporting for a local newspaper. It's gotten so bad that she's suffering from overwhelming panic attacks. "I had always been anxious but it got so much worse once I was in London."

Most of her assignments have been of the 'lost pet' variety but now her boss wants her to cover the proposed sale of the Brockwell Lido, the local outdoor pool and gym, by the Lambeth Council to make room for more profitable property development. 

Kate is told she should interview eighty-six year-old Rosemary Peterson, who has been coming to the pool almost daily for eighty years. Rosemary agrees to the interview IF Kate will go swimming in the pool. And that one acts changes Kate's life. Soon she and Rosemary have become fast friends and Kate is helping to organize a protest to stop the sale. 

This is a lovely, heart-warming story about love and friendship, standing up for what's right in the face of greed and Progress with a capital 'P'. Wonderful characters make this story come to life. Highly recommend!

Many thanks to the publisher for providing me with an arc of this new book through NetGalley for my honest review.
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I received an Advanced Reader Copy from Orion for my unbiased opinion of the book. Oh, my God, I loved this story.  It grabbed me from the very beginning.  This is a charming story about Rosemary who has been swimming at her lido for over 80 years and it is in jeopardy of closing and Kate who is assigned by her newspaper to write about it.  It is about two women who seem very different but are older and younger versions of themselves and both learn to step out of their comfort zones to try to save the public swimming pool from closing.  You must buy this book! You will not regret it.  I am going to have my book club read it as soon as possible!!!!!
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Many thanks to NetGalley, Simon and Schuster, and Libby Page for the opportunity to read and review her debut novel - it was wonderful!  I was in the mood for another charming, feel good book, and this one certainly fit the bill.  The fact that it is a debut novel is amazing - very well-written.  If you are a fan of Fredrick Backman's books, you'll need to pick this one up - it's on sale today!

Kate is in her 20s, newly moved to Brixton, London, is working as a new reporter for the local paper.  However, she's covering lost pets and store openings - not quite how she dreamed of her career.  Meanwhile, she is living with roommates she rarely sees and struggles with panic attacks.  When she is assigned to write a story on the closing of the local lido (an outdoor pool), she meets Rosemary, an 86-year-old who has swam in the pool almost every day for 80 years.  Rosemary and her late husband, George, fell in love at the Lido and she has a circle of friends there.  A developer (cue the nasty music) is in the process of buying the pool and has plans to turn it into a tennis court as part of a housing development for wealthy individuals.  When Kate and Rosemary meet to work on the story, a friendship develops.  They begin to work together to save the Lido.  

The relationships of the people in this story are what make it so wonderful, including the larger community relationships and how important they are in our lives.  Highly recommended - I loved it!
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Such a lovely book about how friendships can bridge age heal hurts. I enjoyed the community, friendships and  characters Libby Page brought to life.

I’ll definitely be looking for Page’s next book.
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The Lido is the kind of book that makes you feel good about humanity and makes you want to be a better person.  It is the kind of story that makes you look at your community with fresh eyes and think maybe it is time to come away from your little screen and the world curated through social media.  That being said, I read The Lido on my Kindle app on my little screen while traveling, which is one of the many applications for the Kindle app that make modern life a blessing to readers.

Kate is a reporter for a community newspaper in a small London neighborhood.  She suffers panic attacks, lives in a boarding house with roommates she does not know, and feels disconnected from her parents and sister.  All of this changes when she meets Rosemary, an elderly woman whose life story is intertwined with the local lido, which is slated for closure and redevelopment as a posh fitness center for the residents of the new apartment complex built on its grounds.  Rosemary introduces Kate to swimming and through swimming to herself, to the neighborhood and its characters, and to the neighborhood’s history through her personal history.  Rosemary grew up in the neighborhood and at the lido.  World War II and post-war London provide a romantic backdrop for a portion of Rosemary’s story, which becomes centered on her romance with her late husband, George, for whose memory Rosemary wishes to save the lido.  Ordinary people taking action to shape their lives and their communities.  Good stuff.

The story is engaging and the characters are likeable.  It’s a great summer or travel read–even on the tiny screen of the Kindle app.

Advanced copy provided via
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2.5 Stars- Rounded 

Kate is a 20-something reporter for a Brixton newspaper, writing stories that are best described as cage-liners, as her dreams of journalistic acclaim are buried beneath a less than glamorous life, panic attacks and her inability to truly get out and live because of her anxieties.  Someone who is very much in her own head, and far too concerned with why she can’t do something, than allowing the obstacles to pop up if they decide to, she felt very constrained and constricted.   But, when she’s assigned the story about the closing of the Lido, as with all she tackles, she’s determined to give it her best shot.  Rosemary has been swimming at the Lido since she was 6, some eighty years now. A source of memories, struggles and even housing her ‘younger self’, Rosemary losing the Lido would be as traumatic as her losing her George, her partner for years.  

So – if this were a review of the premise alone: the story would be a winner. It’s sweet, with Rosemary showing (by example  and simple supportive comments) Kate how to step forward confidently, and to stop thinking of herself in every situation, rather move into the situation to see what or how you manage it.  The gradual growth of Kate does come through, as does the curious view that Rosemary has of herself – almost fractured into the younger one, swimming before heading off to work, dating a younger George, pre-wrinkles and the slower, perhaps even more fragile older woman.  Unfortunately, this review can’t be about the premise – and the writing and plotting also have to be commented upon. 

I believe that Page had a concept that, while lovely, was far above her own capabilities at this time. Prose went from clunky and overly descriptive to swinging for ‘sharp and of the moment’ and missing more often than not.  There was a decided sense that meandering about until an issue popped up and could be sorted: making much of the story move without real purpose to an end that, to be honest, was nothing new or different. That in and of itself isn’t a bad thing, where the story fell short was in the pat ending combined with characters that also were familiar and didn’t present any spark of light that made them new and different.  Add to this several passages that served neither the story nor the characters, often wordy and ponderous and the lack of appropriate editing shines like a beacon.  Funnily enough, even with all of the misses, the lack of decided and defined purposeful writing and even a more often frustrating than likable Kate, I didn’t hate the story – as the intention of a friendship that spans generations and gives support and help to both parties was clear.  It just wasn’t enough for me to recommend this book, although I think that with time and some consistent work on the craft of novel writing, Page will have some wonderful stories to tell. 

I received an eArc copy of the title from the publisher via NetGalley for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility. 

Review first appeared at   I am, Indeed 
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First we meet Kate Matthews.  In her early twenties she has moved from her home in the suburbs of Bristol to take her chances in the big city of London.  She has settled in the London community of Brixton where she shares a house with four other people who she barely knows.  She has been here for two years now and is very lonely and depressed.  Also, lately she has been experiencing panic attacks.  She works as a journalist for a small community newspaper, The Brixton Chronicle. When she is not at work, she is usually in her bed.

"Stories were Kate's friends when she found people challenging. She searched them out, hiding among them in the library and tucking herself into their pages."

Next we meet Rosemary Peterson.  In her late eighties, she also lives alone.  She has been a widow for the past two years. Her late husband, George, was the love of her life and her reason for living. Across the street from Rosemary's flat is the Brixton Lido.  The Lido has always been a huge part of Rosemary's life.  She swims there every day and has since she was a young child.  She and George shared many loving memories there.  She has gone there during the war, during the London riots, and countless other occasions.

"Rosemary is eighty-six but in the water she is ageless."

We learn of Rosemary and George's story.  They met the day that WWII ended. Their story will make you laugh, and make you weep.

Now, Rosemary's beloved Lido, which has been in existence since 1937 is under threat of closure.  It seems a large property company want to buy the real estate it sits upon to build a gym and tennis courts for their tenants.

Back to Kate.  Used to trivial jobs of reporting on lost pets etc., she finally is given a story with some substance.  She is to research the story of the Lido, before it becomes a Brixton memory. She goes there to find out more about the potential closure of the outdoor pool. She is directed to interview Rosemary, who knows more about the Lido than anyone else.

Rosemary agrees to the interview - but ONLY if Kate swims in the pool.  Kate does, and following her interview with Rosemary, the two become loyal friends.  Daily swimming in the lido helps Kate with her anxiety.  She becomes invested in the plight of the pool and begins to help Rosemary 'save' her lido.

"Hope is the most painful thing."

Along the way, the reader becomes immersed in the community of Brixton.  The myriad cultures represented in its population.  Even the wildlife get a few mentions. We meet Rosemary's many friends. The gay couple who run the local bookshop.  The man who sells her produce, a teenage boy who swims at the lido, a new mother who brings her baby to the pool. ..


This book reminded me a lot of the works of Fredrik Backman.  Libby Page has captured his method of using spare sentences that evoke emotion and deep understanding.  Like Backman, her characters become friends with the reader - to the point where you miss them when the last page is turned.  It also reminded me a bit of last year's "Lillian Boxfish takes a walk", only in my opinion it was much better.  Instead of paying homage to New York, as in Lillian's story, it pays homage to Brixton, London.

This is a novel of loneliness, friendship, aging, love, and loss. The writing flows as effortlessly as water in a pool. The descriptions are vivid - so vivid that you can almost smell the chlorine and taste the character's salty tears.

"The Lido"  is a remarkable debut novel that I highly recommend.  A joy to read!
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