The Lido

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 10 Jul 2018

Member Reviews

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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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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