The Ladies' Midnight Swimming Club
by Faith Hogan
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Pub Date 30 Sep 2022 | Archive Date 16 Sep 2022
Aria & Aries, Aria
Great news! The Ladies' Midnight Swimming Club will be publishing in the US in September 2022!
Three women, three different stages of life, united by one thing: the chance to start again.
When Elizabeth's husband dies, leaving her with crippling debt, she must turn to her friend, Jo for help, who calls in her daughter, Lucy to run the village surgery. Leaving her city life, and past demons, behind, Lucy is determined to make the most of her fresh start.
As life slowly begins to resemble something normal for the three women, Jo's world is turned upside down when she receives some shocking news.
In search of some solace, Jo and Elizabeth find themselves enjoying midnight dips in the freezing Irish sea. Here they can laugh, cry and wash away all their fears. As well as conjure a fundraising plan for the local hospice; to take a dip in the nip...
An emotional story about taking chances, finding new friends and living life to the fullest.
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 174 members
What a great and enjoyable book this was to read. Great characters you could get into and a storyline that was great to read - the sign of a perfect book! Highly recommend.so much that I started to read other books published by Faith Hogan
I just adore Faith Hogan’s books, and she’s one of my top go-to authors for a guaranteed beautiful, atmospheric, and authentic read.
This book focuses on three wonderful women, all at different stages in their lives. Jo is a lover of sea swimming, a brave thing to do in Ireland, and even more unusually, she likes to swim at night. Elizabeth finds herself persuaded to join Jo, and they find healing and comfort in this ritual.
Lucy has recently returned to the West of Ireland, with her son, intending it to be temporary, but the pull of home is strong, and she soon finds herself becoming a vital part of the community.
All the characters are going through, and have gone through, immense change in their lives, and have a lot to deal with. There’s a very strong sense of community and friendship in this book.
Haunting and atmospheric, but real and authentic, with love and loss, humour and sadness, this poignant and thoroughly enthralling and captivating novel will completely draw you in. I could not put it down, and it is a book that will stay with me for a long time. It’s a really special book.
“Perhaps it was the sense of how completely irrelevant all her fears were in the face of the utter vastness of the sea and sky around her. She loved the silence and the roar of the ocean, the velvet sky and the inky water. Mostly she loved the fact that it made her feel alive in a way that nothing else could.”
Set in a small coastal Irish town, The Ladies' Midnight Swimming Club is told from multiple perspectives. There's Elizabeth, whose life feels like it's only just beginning following the death of her husband. There's her best friend Jo, whose daughter Lucy and son Niall visit from Dublin. Lucy agrees to help at Elizabeth's late husband's GP clinic and in the interim becomes a founding member of The Ladies' Midnight Swimming Club alongside Jo and Elizabeth. Finally, there's Dan, a visiting writer from London who's come to Ballycove to finally discover where his life began.
The story is broken down into parts (a.k.a months) and effortlessly flows between these multiple points of view. I really enjoyed hearing from each of their perspectives and seeing how the story unfolded. While I saw some reveals coming, others were a pleasant surprise. Hogan's writing style was poignant, with elements of humour to expertly break up the dramatic moments.
To me, The Ladies' Midnight Swimming Club was simply a joy to read. It was filled with both heartwarming and heartbreaking moments but ultimately felt like a warm hug. It's a story of love and loss, friendship and community. I listened to the audiobook and the narrator was also fantastic.
I loved this emotional rollercoaster of a book. The three leads worked well together and were great characters and I enjoyed their stories... definitely a warmhearted uplifting story
My goodness, this pulls at the heartstrings!!
Faith Hogan is the queen of the emotional roller-coaster and this has everything to have you smiling through blinding tears, your heart will burst with love and sadness and you will be sure to get a lump in your throat while reading at the powerful message of hope and friendship.
I loved that to sort through your minds cluttered box, to find a way through the drama which envelopes these women that to simply have a midnight swim in the sea with like-minded women who never judge but encourage and respect and help. It really is the most beautiful thing!
This book speaks to you on so many levels and will resonate with so many. It tells the stories of how three women who are at different stages in life, three women who have their own roads to tread how they come together in the simple act of swimming and in doing so not only through the power of their unique friendship but through the healing power of finding peace in your own mind they start to recover, heal, find courage, find strength and learn to move forward it really is a beautiful yet simplistic story which will touch your heart and soul, I can not recommend it enough.
This is a book I have had on the TBR pile for a while now and having now read it I can't believe it took me so long.
A gorgeous, heartwarming read about Jo, her daughter Lucy and their friend, recently bereaved Elizabeth as they take to the waters of Ireland. Prepare to shed some tears.
A lovely warm story of people finding their way back to a little coastal village and discovering that all they need is right there rather than the big cities they lived in. No is dying from cancer and enjoys midnight swims with Elizabeth who is recovering from the financial fallout of her husband's death. Lucy comes home to her mum and takes over the doctors practice while her son is trying to survive without electronic games. Nicely interwoven stories and well written characters
This book was so good I went right over and took out other books by Hogan. Several! Her books are all cozy and warm with strong characters.
What a great and enjoyable book this was to read. Great characters you could get into and a storyline that was great to read - the sign of a perfect book! Highly recommend.
What a wonderful book!.Full of interesting characters, an emotional storyline and a title that tells you what brings them all together. If you want a good book to make you laugh and cry along with the characters then this is the one for you - oh, and be prepared to put aside whatever you were supposed to be doing to get to the end!
What a feel good book. A great setting, wonderful characters and a lovely uplifting story. I laughed & cried, I loved it.
A sweet book with a good cast of characters and an evocative setting. I warmed to all the characters and was rooting for a Happy Ever After but was also pleased when not every loose end was tied in a bow!! Multiple themes of friendship, keeping up appearances, illness and finding your place.
A quick read - but not light and fluffy - the author has an easy writing style that handles difficult topics well. My first book from this author, I’ll look out for more.
I really enjoyed this book which was very uplifting even though there is death in the story. The characters were well described and I really liked the women in this book. I even wished there was a real Ladies Midnight Swimming Club so I could be a part of it. The only slight detraction for me was that everything ended nicely tied up and was reminiscent of a fairy tale - and they all lived happily ever after. Having said that, I wouldn’t have liked it if everyone‘s life ended up horribly!
Elizabeth and Jo are friends who live in a small town on Ireland’s west coast. When Elizabeth’s physician husband dies and leaves her with a mountain of debt, Jo asks her daughter, Lucy, to take over his surgery while Elizabeth sorts things out. Lucy arrives from Dublin with her teen son and seems in need of healing herself. Jo lets the two in on her secret: midnight plunges in the ocean bring peace.
As the three try to sort out their lives, the midnight swims become central–and become a community rallying point when Jo has her own challenges to face. Charming, heartwarming, and filled with wonderful friendships.
As always with Faith Hogan’s work this story is set in the most beautiful landscape of West Ireland. The author has described the village and coastline so well I could see, hear and smell the vision that nature had created.
This story was so very poignant for me as I too have faced a hurdle that one of the main characters faces. Previously I have found storylines like this hard to read but Faith Hogan didn’t choose this as the main focus and she dealt with it with sensitivity and dignity.
The Ladies’ Midnight Swimming Club is a story about friendship, learning to adapt and overcome life’s hurdles, starting anew and recognising what makes you happy.
We have a widow who learns her late husband wasn’t who she thought he was, a young Dr recently divorced in need of change from the mayhem of a city hospital, her son who is struggling with the changes in his home life, a writer from London desperate to learn of his heritage and a mother/grandmother who loves her coastline and wants the best for her family and friends.
As Faith Hogan sets the scenes so beautifully with her words I was soon invested with all five of our characters and was keen to learn what happens next for them. I’d love a sequel to this story as I feel there’s so much more to give. Maybe also I loved the characters and setting too much and I just don’t want to let them go yet …
A totally absorbing story that is high on emotion but equally filled with Irish charm and warmth. Along the journey of life these ladies find solace with each other but also with nature and the freedom of the midnight swimming club that gives them breathing space to express their thoughts, let their inhibitions go and breathe in the beauty all around them.
This novel of friendships. Life changes and having the courage to start again was a good read. I received this novel as an advanced reader copy from net Galley in exchange for an honest review.
A beautiful story with characters that really endear themselves to the reader. Heartwarming and heartbreaking in equal measure.
I was drawn in by the title and the premise and it certainly delivered on its promise. Thank you to Netgalley and the publishers for letting me review this book.
This book was a wonderful chick lit type of story. I think many readers will be able to enjoy these wonderful characters and their journey.
Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for the digital ARC in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are completely my own.
Elizabeth is grieving the loss of her husband. They may not have have the best of marriages but she is feeling lost without him. That is until Elizabeth finds out that he has left her with crippling debts and that she is at risk of losing everything.
Luckily for Elizabeth she has a wonderful friend in Jo who is there to help support her.
Jo decides the best way to help is to get her daughter Lucy on board to help too.
Lucy has been through a messy breakup and after throwing herself into her work is now in desperate need of a break, so when her mum suggests she heads home for a visit she jumps at the chance and brings her teenage son Niall too.
Lucy enjoys being home with her mum and getting back to a slower pace of life.It is helping her heal and make some decisions with regards to how she wants her future to progress.
The three ladies all become closer and when Jo challenges them all to go for a midnight swim they decide to go for it.
The three of them begin to really enjoy their cold swims together and they all feel it really helps them, but when Jo receives some shocking news its Lucy and Elizabeth that surround and support by making plans to bring the community together for a fundraiser.
Life is going to change for Elizabeth, Jo and Lucy, but with their close and supportive relationship between them they know that they can handle whatever life is going to throw at them.
This is such an emotional and heartwarming read that I simply adored and could not put down.
The setting of the small Coastal town of Ballycove in Ireland sounds like the perfect place to gather you thoughts and escape for some peace and quiet. The community of Ballycove sound wonderful too and always ready to support each other.
Jo, Elizabeth and Lucy are all very different but they become a very tight group. They all have secrets between them too which as you read and get to know them begin to surface.
It was really interesting to get an insight into their lives and find out more about their pasts too.
Faith Hogan has done it again with this engaging and addictive read. A story full of friendship, family that community that will stay with you long after reading the last page.
An extremely enjoyable book. Fantastic characters who become real to the reader and a plot which draws the reader in from the start. Set in Ireland, the locations were beautifully described, the book flowed well and community and friendship were strong themes. The supporting cast of characters could have stories in their own right .
A book I would highly recommend.
Thank you to Netgalley, Aria and Aries and Faith Hogan for letting me read this book in exchange for an honest review.
Take the plunge
I stated this book and it seemed like a light romantic read, I did not realise that it's insights and revelations would leave me in tears.
West coast of Ireland, a little town loses its Doctor, the repercussions are enormous and far reaching.
Chief characters are Elizabeth the Doctor's long suffering widow, Jo a kind, community minded friend of Elizabeth, Lucy Jo's daughter and her son Niall. All of these people have overwhelming issues to contend with.
Although we may guess at the outcome we can't be certain of a happy ending.
Well written with skilfully described warm characters, just delightful, thank you Faith and NetGalley.
Loved the chracters, the storyline, the flow of the story. Great easy read, a good feel good book. It brought all emtions to the story
I know that I am in safe hands when it comes to a Faith Hogan book and this one did not disappoint. I was warmly welcomed in like an old friend and caught up in the most sincere story imaginable.
Three ladies take us on a truly moving tale of love, loss and friendship that had me smiling one moment and crying the next. Each character captured my heart and I was fully invested in their stories from start to finish. Their narratives beautifully entwined around one another to showcase a stunning story that moved me beyond all measure. It ebbed and flowed at a gorgeous pace and kept me hooked from start to finish.
Character creation has always been a strong point for Faith and we were not left disappointed with Elizabeth, Jo and Lucy who managed to touch every emotion imaginable. I loved Jo's witty and meaningful take on life, Elizabeth's awakening and Lucy's new beginning. They came alive at the turn of a page and left me wanting more.
I don't want to delve into details regarding the narrative as I feel that would spoil the reading experience that Faith has carefully created. But each and every page will pull you further into a story that will leave you moved. There's humour and heartache a plenty and I know I won't be forgetting these three ladies any time soon. The Ladies' Midnight Swimming Club is a beautiful book of life and love. It's heartwarming and a true delight. Well done Faith, yet another beauty of a book.
3.75 stars ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ A sweet story about friendship and family, set in Ireland. Many different narrators and a beautiful setting make this a fun read!
Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for the ARC.
The Ladies' Midnight Swimming Club is an impressive and thoroughly enjoyable read about three women, Elizabeth O'Shea, her lifelong friend Jo and Jo’s only daughter, Lucy.
Set in the fictional small village of Ballycove along the northwest Atlantic coast, the reader learns the stories of the three women. Elizabeth is recently widowed following the death of her husband, Eric, a GP who she has just discovered had a huge gambling addiction. She is at risk of losing their home. Jo has lived in Ballycove all her life and is a prominent figure in the community, though she has received some bad news concerning her health. She may be able to help Elizabeth. Lucy is an A&E doctor at a Dublin hospital who has recently divorced her husband, Jack who has headed off to Australia to be with someone else. Lucy goes to Ballycove to be near her mother and the sea and hopefully turn her life around.
Faith Hogan's fantastic contemporary tale gives the reader a wonderful slice of life in Ireland. I enjoyed its themes of friendship and the strong sense of community. It is a story of loneliness, grief, heartbreak, forgiveness, second chances, and more. The Ladies' Midnight Swimming Club is divine, engaging, escapist reading that many will find appealing.
I received a complimentary copy of this novel at my request from Aria & Aries via NetGalley and this review is my unbiased opinion.
The Ladies Midnight Swimming Club is a heartwarming story about three women facing difficult life changing events that will impact their lives forever. Jo, her adult daughter Lucy, and the neighbor Elizabeth, find themselves forming a special bond. Somehow Lucy and Elizabeth promise to join Jo in her usual midnight swim in the cold ocean. This all takes place in the quaint Irish Village called Ballycove, which is Jo and Elizabeth’s home and was Lucy’s home in her younger years. This little swimming adventure brings them closer together as they share their fears, circumstances and dreams and as a reader you come to understand what each woman’s life was like before they formed the Swim Club.
I enjoyed all three of these likable characters . The story left me feeling a bit nostalgic for the special connection between a mother and daughter and for the special friendship women often form with each other.
A sweet story of friendship in an Irish village. On the whole nice characters and good conversation, though the plot was predictable and a little shallow in places. Niall's (the teenage son) story could have been better fleshed out in places, but at other times it was fine. I think my main criticism is that at times the characters feel a little two dimensional But the book is a light , feel good read leaving the reader to fill in the possibilities in the future of the characters.
The version I read was unedited . There were several instances which could benefit from editing (Mother Agatha regularly became Mother Agnes, sometimes in the same sentence !)
Thank you to Net Galley for the ARC in exchange for an honest review
Calendar Girls meets Long Lost Family! Lots of great characters to get to know in this book, and the connection between each of them is heartwarming. This book covers friendships, secrets, starting afresh, and hope. Characters develop and grow in a beautiful way, particularly Niall and Elizabeth. I also enjoyed the setting and understanding how babies born out of wedlock and their mothers were treated.
Oh my goodness what an emotionally charged and amazing book this one is.
As the synopsis tells you, this is the story of three women and of different generations and each one is a point in their lives when decisions need to be made. The swimming club is something that may sound completely mad to some, I mean swimming in the sea at midnight doesn't sound like something that most women would think about. The author, however, had different thoughts about it and I for one am so glad she did as it was such a fabulous story to get caught up in.
The three women are Jo, Elizabeth and Lucy. Jo and Lucy are mother and daughter, Elizabeth is a long time friend of Jo. They live in a small isolated village on the west coast of Ireland. Changes in their lives bring them together and it is together that they start to work through things.
The author has once again done a wonderful job of creating characters that have so much depth to them and setting up the story for what follows. There is a sort of inevitability for one of them, in fact, for all three there is an inevitability about what will happen. Oh dear! that was so vague!
This is an emotional book and it is very difficult to read when you have eyes full of tears. A mix of happy and sad ones and you will discover more over the course of the story. I want to say so much about what happens in this book but that would spoil it for those of you who have not read it yet.
This is the second book I have read by this author and the second time she has made me cry. If you are after a story that is one about life, love, friendship and change then you really should look at this one. It is a simply gorgeous book that I would absolutely recommend.
This book is heart warming & heart breaking all at once.
I really enjoyed all the characters and following their stories throughout their time in Ballycove.
I liked the layout of the book. Having the chapters dedicated to different characters gave the reader time to get to know each of the characters and how their stories became entwined.
The ending was bittersweet but had an overall sense of calm.
This book also explores some difficult topics such as cancer and mother & baby homes.
I gave this 4 stars!⭐
Thank you to Aria & Aries for an eArc of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Three women all facing a crisis in their lives - and set in an idyllic little town of Ballycove in Ireland.
Elizabeth faces a financial crisis and personal disillusionment on the death of her husband Eric. He has racked up thousands in debit and she cannot find a way out of it. She is sad at the way her marriage turned out, a sham from beginning to end. Her friend Jo knows that something is wrong with her health, but does not know how serious it is and there is Lucy the young doctor who will be their guiding light and savior though she is unaware of it. Lucy herself in a dead end job with no satisfaction at the end of it, with a son Niall who is unsettled and trying to get to grips with life after a betrayal and a divorce.
Three women completely different lives and the story of how they come together to support each other, find solace and move on from the blows they've received.
I felt so good at the end of this read, a feeling that was necessary in the present climate. A story of companionship, of being supportive without being oppressive, and especially one of kindness.
The Blurb :
Three women, three different stages of life, united by one thing: the chance to start again.
When Elizabeth's husband dies, leaving her with crippling debt, she must turn to her friend, Jo for help, who calls in her daughter, Lucy to run the village surgery. Leaving her city life, and past demons, behind, Lucy is determined to make the most of her fresh start.
As life slowly begins to resemble something normal for the three women, Jo's world is turned upside down when she receives some shocking news.
In search of some solace, Jo and Elizabeth find themselves enjoying midnight dips in the freezing Irish sea. Here they can laugh, cry and wash away all their fears. As well as conjure a fundraising plan for the local hospice; to take a dip in the nip.
My Thoughts :
Set in Ballycove, Ireland. We meet Elizabeth, Jo and Lucy.
After Elizabeth’s husband Eric dies, leaving her with the lots of debt and his GP business, Jo asks her daughter Lucy, who is also a doctor in Dublin, if she can come home to Ballycove with her son Niall to help out for a while in the practice until Elizabeth can get back on her feet and sorted.
Jo has always loved to swim in the sea and suggests to Elizabeth to join her, which then in turn leads to Lucy joining them. They realise its a time when they can dip their toes into the water and have a chat, laugh a little and generally be free. I loved visualizing where they were and could almost smell the sea air and saltiness. The whole swimming in the sea element of the story was one that drew me in to the book as it was different to other books I have read
Although three very different people and ages, it was great they all had a story to tell.
I do really enjoy Faith Hogan’s stories and this one did not disappoint.
I loved all of the characters and learning about their backgrounds.
This story is most definitely about friendships, loss, heartbreak and second chances.
Looking forward to more stories very soon.
What a unique exhilarating storyline! The author dug deep into humanity and relationships! I treasure my friendships with people who are 15 years older and younger than myself. Yet, we all get together with others to form a unique bond.
Jo is the anchor who brings her daughter together with her friend Elizabeth. But yet it’s the draw of the sea and the swimming and others that truly bring everyone together. However, there is so much heartbreak for all of these ladies throughout this book that you can’t help but keep reading to pull for them.
The characters are strong and believable and everything they experience happens to people every day!
I definitely would recommend this book!
I received a free advanced copy from NetGalley and these are my willingly given thoughts and opinions.
To be honest, I think we were all a little in awe of your extensive vocabulary when it came to telling her where to go. The parish priest had to run into the pantry to hide his smirk.
The walls held charts that looked as if they could belong in a museum. The blinds that had stuck closed many years earlier had a tatty, neglected air about them. Even the doors creaked onerously as they were opened; it seemed they too were ready to hand notice in.
I’m sorry, Lucy, but consider yourself stepping into the TARDIS and re-emerging somewhere in the early 1970s.
‘It should be in the nip. A dip in the nip! That’s what I’d enjoy most, thinking of all of you, down here, in the altogether and jumping into the water… Think about it, Elizabeth, even old crabby boots O’Neill… herself.’ And they all began to laugh at the notion of Eric’s former receptionist pulling off her interlocking knickers before diving into the cold Atlantic.
What’s she thinking? The sight of her in the buff will be enough to frighten every fish from the bay.
‘I’ll strategically add in a pink ribbon to cover everyone’s jiggly bits at the end,’ she intoned to the startled Elizabeth as she began to unpack a fairly complex-looking camera.
I adore Faith Hogan and her latest missive was yet another one to savor. I read it slowly and enjoyed every storyline while keeping my fingers crossed for a happy ending that tied them all together, and of course, she delivered in spades. I am enamored with Ms. Hogan’s agile craft and nimble word skills, she has her own unique brand of insightfully written and poignant storytelling that pulls in just the right amount of wry humor to balance out the drama and tension. I have never been to Ireland and every time I read one of her tales it ignites my desire to see the land of leprechauns and distant ancestors. I have enjoyed every book of hers I’ve had the luck to pick up and I covet the ones I don’t have. She has mad skills and a lifelong fangirl in me.
This wonderful novel took me through a whole gamut of emotions while I was reading it. It was so emotional, heart-warming and poignant that it broke my heart and mended it in one swipe. Be prepared for tears, but I assure you that you will be smiling through those tears.
This was a beautifully constructed story of sisterhood, of the friendships women find with other women, and of hope. The community around the women in this story was warm and welcoming to anyone who arrives in the village. It sounded like the perfect antidote to the stresses and strains of city or even town living, and made me want to head to Ireland forthwith.
I loved the idea of swimming at night in the bracing sea, although personally as a person who doesn’t swim, I found myself desperately wishing I could swim, and wondering if I have left it too late to learn. Just after I had finished this touching novel, a friend of mine was on holiday in Cornwall and found herself invited to join in with a group of women who went swimming every day together. The first day she acted as a spotter for some of the women, but the next day found herself braving the chilly waters and not thinking about the onlookers, to join in with them and swim for a few minutes. She found it both liberating and exhilarating, and it just made me feel even more inspired.
In addition to Lucy, Jo and Elizabeth, we also get to know Lucy’s son Niall who is struggling with being moved from Dublin, and coping with his parent’s divorce. We also see Dan, who is visiting the area in order to write a book, and to look for his birth mother.
This book touched me so much that for a few days afterwards I couldn’t read anything else, because the characters and the location were so firmly in my head that I almost didn’t want to part with them. The importance of friendship, and the value of sisterhood and community was so moving and so real, that I was left feeling bereft at the end of the book. The Ladies’ Midnight Swimming Club was one of my favourite reads so far this year, and one that I can’t recommend highly enough!
This is an amazing read, an emotive story set in a small seaside village on the West coast of Ireland with friendship at its heart.
The Ladies’ Midnight Swimming Club was founded by Jo, who coerced her daughter and friend to join her. They all have their own problems but their midnight swims help them connect, talk, laugh and be inspired. . . . . This is a story which focuses on these three ladies, Lucy’s son and a writer who has come to stay in the village whilst he writes a novel and searches for his past.
It is a moving story, dealing sensitively with several emotive issues. It is a tale of searching for the truth, coping with grief, overcoming obstacles and making the most of your life and opportunities, even when everything seems to be against you. Throughout the story it is the friendships and support characters give to each other that make it a beautiful, heartwarming read that I have no hesitation in highly recommending.
Thank you to Aria and NetGalley for my copy of this lovely book which I have voluntarily read and honestly reviewed.
I have read and loved a few of Faith’s books now. By no means have I read everything that she has written but I am getting there. I read the synopsis for ‘The Ladies’ Midnight Swimming Club’ and it certainly sounded like the emotional but ultimately uplifting story that I have come to expect from Faith. So without further ado, I grabbed a cup of tea, grabbed my Kindle and settled down for an afternoon of reading. Overall I did enjoy reading ‘The Ladies’ Midnight Swimming Club’ but more about that in a bit.
I have to be honest and say that for me, the story was a little slow to get going but once I got into the story that was it and I was away so to speak. This wasn’t a book that I could read all in one day but I did manage to binge read over the course of a few days. I found that I became so wrapped up in the story that I would lose all track of time and just how quickly I was getting through the book. I found ‘The Ladies’ Midnight Swimming Club’ to be an interesting and emotional read, but ultimately an uplifting read.
‘The Ladies’ Midnight Swimming Club’ is well written but that is certainly true of all of Faith’s books to date. She certainly knows how to grab your attention and draw you into what proves to be a compelling story. I love the way in which she describes the three leading ladies. She writes so vividly and realistically that the characters seemed just as real as you and I. Faith certainly makes the reader feel as though they are part of the story themselves and at the heart of the action so to speak.
In short and overall I did enjoy reading ‘The Ladies’ Midnight Swimming Club’ and I would recommend it to other readers. I will certainly be reading more of Faith’s work in the future. The score on the Ginger Book Geek board is a very well deserved 4* out of 5*.
One of those life affirming, inspiring reads that stays with you long after you close the book. I was absolutely charmed by this book; Faith Hogan has written a book full of emotion and spirit, with characters you will take instantly to your heart. Touching on Irelands history of forced adoption as well as homosexuality, illness and the true impact that living a lie can have on all the people trying to maintain a level of respectability and responsibility within their local and small community.
Faith Hogan paints a gorgeous scenic picture, it isn’t hard to imagine ourselves in Ballycove and taking a dip in the Irish Sea.
With the focus on the three ladies, Elizabeth, Jo and Lucy, we have three people in very different situations, all dealing with things that are weighing them down. They find some freedom, calm and release in the midnight dips in that freezing water. It was good to see the story told from their points of view and how each character impacted and supported the rest. Each character is special in their own way, seeing the growth and independence of Elizabeth and the inspirational strength of Jo.
Although there are serious themes and emotional moments (grab the tissues!) it is littered with moments of humour that provide a nice balance. Faith Hogan’s writing is brilliant, the story is very well paced and engaging – I didn’t want to put it down!
Heartwarming, tender and will enrich your heart, I highly recommend this book – definitely one of my favourites this year.
Liz, Jo, and Lucy discover that allowing themselves to be one with nature can be cleansing in this insightful novel about letting go of the old and facing the (sometimes daunting) new. It’s a straightforward, pleasant read in a charming setting of an Irish coastal town. There’s not to overthink or figure out, it’s best to just go on the ride that the author has created. Some may say it is predictable, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. It allowed me to take a much-needed brain break and swim with the ladies of the club. 3.5 stars rounded up to 4.0 for the setting reminding me of a favorite tv show. For a full review, please visit Fireflies and Free Kicks. Thank you to Aria Books and NetGalley for a digital ARC of the book.
Faith Hogan has done it again! Her latest novel, The Ladies' Midnight Swimming Club is an absolutely beautiful book; once again Faith Hogan writes from the heart and will warm the heart of every single reader who picks up this book.
We return to Ballycove (the setting of The Place We Call Home) on the west coast of Ireland to meet three fabulous ladies: Elizabeth, Jo and Lucy. Although it's my second visit to Ballycove, The Ladies' Midnight Swimming Club is a standalone novel with only a brief mention of the Corrigans who featured in Faith Hogan's earlier book. I felt like I was waving to old friends when they were mentioned; that's how deep Faith Hogan's novels bury themselves into your heart, however, nothing could have prepared me for the impact of The Ladies' Midnight Swimming Club.
Elizabeth has just discovered the extent of her husband's debt following his death and can't see how she can keep her home, never mind keep the doctor's surgery running when she needs to find a new GP. Jo suggests that her daughter Lucy might be willing to help Elizabeth; Lucy is a doctor in a Dublin hospital and welcomes the change of pace a move back home will bring, besides she can keep a closer eye on Jo as we all know how much our loved ones like to tell us that everything is ok in the brief time we spend with them.
In a story that is a cross between The Calendar Girls and Philomena, the women of the town all come together to take a midnight dip for charity and a stranger arrives in search of answers in the abandoned old convent. I laughed and cried but mainly smiled my way through The Ladies' Midnight Swimming Club. Faith Hogan's writing is so uplifting that even the sad bits are heartwarmingly beautiful. This is a truly gorgeous novel that I will never forget and it's one I most definitely want to read again.
The Ladies' Midnight Swimming Club is Faith Hogan's best novel yet (and her others are pretty amazing); I really didn't want my visit to Ballycove to end. This breathtaking novel is so full of life that it beats in time with your own heart and burrows its way in to ensure you will never forget it. Heartwarming, beautiful and filled with emotion, The Ladies' Midnight Swimming Club is an outstanding novel that I really can't recommend highly enough.
I received a digital ARC to read and review for the blog tour and this is my honest and unbiased opinion.
A charming tale of friendship, loss, new beginnings and love in the most delightful seaside village. The star of this tale was definitely Ballycove. The authors ability to help the reader immerse themselves in the small village, with its gentle, decent folk and stunning scenery made the book a treasure to read.
I look forward to reading her other books next.
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. In fact, it’s pushed my urge to go wild swimming again soon. I loved the friendship between Elisabeth and Jo.
The depiction of rural village life kinda makes me want to move out of the city now. The Ladies’ Midnight Swimming Club is a great read that deals with family, friendship, new beginnings and some things in between and it’s a lovely new addition to the many women’s fiction books I’ve read.
Set on the coast in beautiful Ireland, the community spirit of Ballycove permeates this novel from start to finish. There is a great feeling of comfort and coming home throughout, despite the direst of circumstances. Three women are brought together when they go for a night-time swim in the freezing waters and it seems as though their troubles are lifted from their shoulders as they float weightless in the sea. As we find out, Jo, Elizabeth and Lucy all have their own story to tell. Lucy and Elizabeth's marriages are over and they set about finding a new purpose to their lives. Jo has a different path to tread. But they are not the only ones who are looking for home and acceptance. Lucy's son, Niall and Dan also are looking for a place to belong.
I thoroughly enjoyed following all the stories as they evolved. As each chapter focused on a different character, you discover their lives and see the village through their eyes. Crossing the generations, you get a sense of family and belonging. There is a mystery to be solved which gradually comes centre stage but I liked how the ending left a few things more open. Just like life, not everything is tied up neatly.
Thanks to the publisher for a copy of the book
Who says you can’t go home again. Home is the quaint village of Ballycove. We meet newly widowed Elizabeth, whose husband was the town doctor. Jo, whose daughter Lucy and son Niall, are looking for something different from the modern hospital she works at. Dan, newly jobless and looking for something other than London
The indomitable spirit of friendship, finding oneself, and moving forward is front and center in this book. It’s a heartwarming story, with wonderful characters. I especially enjoyed the mature women...so refreshing. The story line draws you in immediately, and the writing is top notch. So nice to read a story where no one is tearing anyone down.
Thanks to Ms. Hogan, Aria and Aries and NetGalley for this ARC. Opinion is mine alone!
A feel good story about love, friendship and new beginnings. An easy read ideal for a holiday. It's the first book I've read by this author but I'm going to look for her others.
When I read the blurb for this book, I knew it would be a story full of emotion and it did not disappoint. A truly wonderful story set against the Irish coastline that made me laugh and want to cry all at the same time.
Elizabeth is a character who when faced with her husbands debt, tries to find a way through the mess he has created and with the love and support of Jo, Lucy & Alice she starts making plans to see what she can rescue of her life.
This story takes you on an emotional journey of love and heartbreaking loss, you get to meet Niall who is struggling since his parents divorce and his Grandmother Jo who is hoping some time away from Dublin for him and his Mum might be the tonic they need. I flew through this book in just a couple of days as once I had picked it up, I was reluctant to put it back down.
I loved the midnight swimming club and how stories from the past helped to create a happier future. A wonderful read that I highly recommend, although you might want a tissue tucked up your sleeve just in case.
This was a sad but uplifting tale if that’s possible, life in a rural Irish village, families , grief loss and illness all feature which make it sad but the friendship, love and family bond give this book the feel good factor.
Thank you for the opportunity to read this book.
A beautiful tale of friendship, hope & happy endings, thoroughly enjoyed another winner from Faith Hogan
Elizabeth is a woman released from a long, but unhappy, marriage after the death of her GP husband Eric. She is unsure what the future holds, but is looking forward to a life out from under Eric's domineering shadow - until that is she finds out he has left her with crippling gambling debts that look likely to leave her with nothing.
Shocked and upset, Elizabeth turns to her oldest friend Jo for advice. Fortunately, Jo has a plan: her daughter Lucy, a doctor, is also trying to piece her life back together in the wake of a divorce and coming back home to run the GP surgery might just be the new start she needs - even if Lucy's teenage son Niall is likely to be a bit reluctant to be dragged to the back of beyond on the west coast of Ireland.
Things start to look up as Elizabeth and Lucy work together to get their lives back on track, with the indefatigable Jo in support. But then Jo's world is turned upside down with some shocking news of her own, and it looks like the time comes for her to need to support of her nearest and dearest.
Heartbreak lies ahead, but the three woman form a strong bond enjoying midnight dips in the freezing Irish sea, encouraged by Jo who has always been a keen sea swimmer. Although Elizabeth and Lucy are reluctant at first, they soon find themselves enjoying their nightly dips and the freedom to laugh, cry and clear their minds that comes with their midnight swims. They eventually hatch a plan between them that is designed to celebrate Jo's life in the best way imaginable, and raise some money for a good cause at the same time - by getting all the women in the village to join them in a sponsored midnight swim branded as a 'dip in the nip'.
The combined stories of these three women is a masterclass from Faith Hogan in exploring warm friendship, deep love, coping with loss, and new beginnings. But she also weaves some gold in the rest of the novel with Niall's story of finding acceptance and a place to belong, which was joyful, and a delightful thread about a character called Dan who is searching for the mother he never knew in this little corner of west Ireland.
As the stories of Elizabeth, Jo, Lucy, Niall and Dan collide, Hogan uses the theme of the bond between mother and child beautifully, but it also allows her to shine a light on the plight of those women who found themselves in the Irish mother and baby homes. It is shocking to read about the hundreds of women and children that died in these homes, and the babies that were taken from their mothers, in the days when to be an unmarried mother was considered to be shameful in the eyes of God and respectable people, but I really enjoyed the way Hogan examines this through her characters, bringing in some interesting threads about discrimination and hypocrisy along the way - and wraps everything up in a glorious, bittersweet ending.
This is an incredibly emotional story and although you know pretty early on that there is going to be a hefty dollop of sadness to come, this is actually a very uplifting tale that will warm the cockles of your heart, and have you craving the wild beauty of the west coast of Ireland. If you are looking for a book to make your heart full and your eyes brim over with tears, then The Ladies' Midnight Swimming Club is it.
“She loved the silence and the roar of the ocean, the velvet sky and the inky water. Mostly she loved the fact that it made her feel alive in a way that nothing else could. She even loved the biting cold that ate through her skin and into the very marrow of her bones – in some absurd way, it warmed her from the inside out, as if it lit some fire that would never be extinguished.”
The Ladies’ Midnight Swimming Club is the sixth novel by award-winning, best-selling Irish author, Faith Hogan. It’s not until the death of her husband Eric, Ballycove’s local GP, that Elizabeth O’Shea discovers the extent of his deceit. She knew he drank, but not that he gambled, and to her dismay, he was more prolific at both than he was at being successful as a GP. The level of debt he has left her with in the form of loans is staggering. Will she lose everything?
Elizabeth’s closest friend, Jo Harris is addicted to the natural high she gets from swimming at midnight in the icy Irish Sea off Ireland’s west coast. She manages to draw her friend into trying it, and during this intimacy Elizabeth reveals her problem. Jo is delighted to be able to offer a potential solution in the form of her daughter Lucy.
Lucy Nolan has taken leave of absence from her high-stress A&E position in a Dublin hospital, and is taking her teenaged son, Niall back to Ballycove to catch up with her elderly mother before doing some travelling. She’s not at all sure about filling in for Eric O’Shea, but agrees to help out for two weeks, until more permanent help can be found.
While Niall is quickly bored with village life, wishing he could go to live with his father in Australia, Lucy is enjoying the country practice much more that she would have expected, and then a more compelling, if worrying, reason to stay on is revealed.
Dan’s scriptwriting job in London has come to an ignominious end and he’s taking the opportunity to see if he can write the novel he has always planned, and a quiet cottage in Ballycove is the ideal spot. It also presents what he sees as the last chance to find the birth mother who gave him up thirty years earlier.
On the background of Ireland’s awful legacy of the Catholic homes for unmarried mothers and forced adoptions, Hogan’s story also touches on the toll taken by laws against homosexuality, and the overwhelming imperative to maintain the veneer of respectability in a small Irish community.
As Hogan introduces her characters and fills in their back stories, it seems fairly obvious how the plot will develop, but the journey there is a very agreeable one and her descriptive prose easily evokes the Mayo coastline and her love of it. This is truly a heart-warming and uplifting read.
This unbiased review is from an uncorrected proof copy provided by NetGalley and Aria and Aries
This is the first book I have read by Faith Hogan and it most definitely won’t be the last. I laughed, I cried, I was completely engaged from the outset.
The story centres around Jo, her friend Elizabeth, and her daughter Lucy. Each has their own struggle and the book really showcases the power of friendship, especially at those difficult points in life when you aren’t too sure what will happen next.
I really enjoyed having chapters from different characters points of view and loved the descriptions of the landscape. I would highly recommend.
Thanks to #Aria&Aries and #NetGalley for the ARC.
I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Great read. Kept me interested from beginning to end. First book I gave read of this author but will not be my last.
Feel good story with a touch of magic.
The allure of the Irish coast beckons as several people work out life challenges in the picturesque town of Ballycove.
Author Dan decides to leave Dublin and take time out to write a novel, and to investigate a question he’s wondered about most of his life.
Elizabeth, wife of the village doctor, finds herself left with huge debts when her husband dies. As she faces the future she also faces the boundaries of her married life.
Jo, a close friend of Elizabeth’s, persuades her divorced daughter and coincidentally a doctor to takeover the surgery until Elizabeth can move forward. Lucy’s son Niall accompanies her into what he views as a fresh new hell. He’s busting to join his father in Australia,
Jo talks Elizabeth into joining her for late night swims—refreshing and releasing. Magical!
A story with a nicely woven plot and some wonderful highlights—the ladies swimming in the altogether at midnight is a vision of warm friendship and individual courage.
I saw the writing on the wall for one subplot from early on in the novel, making it all too neat, but then I thought, Why Not?
A tight knit story, with occasional lapses where some happenings are maybe a tad too fortuitous. But then this is a novel of hope and stretching oneself, so again, Why Not?
A very enjoyable and warm read!
An Aria & Aries ARC via NetGalley
(Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.)
The Ladies' Midnight Swimming Club is the fourth novel I have reviewed by Faith Hogan after What Happened to Us, The Place We Call Home and My Husband's Wives, all of which I loved.
Elizabeth is a GP who is newly widowed after her husband Eric passed away. Jo is an older lady who has lived in a tiny Irish village all her life and Lucy is her daughter and also a doctor and works in the local A&E department. Lucy has had a hard time too as her husband is now living with another woman in Australia and Lucy has a son.
The women come together to swim in the Irish Sea and share their lives and troubles.
It's the freezing water of the sea itself that opens the book and I could really envisage the visual swimming scene. The word choices were perfect throughout the book and evoked powerful emotions and settings and I wanted to know what was going to happen next.
Another great novel by Faith Hogan which focuses on the importance of family, new found friends as well as an abundance of secrets lies and laughs as well as everybody opening up about hard, happy and sad times.
Faith Hogan's writing always grips me and her richly created characters capture my heart. I wanted to get to know them all. What I love about Faith Hogan's novels is that her love for her native Ireland is present in every page and her books are so atmospheric.
Thanks to Faith Hogan and Aria & Aries for my ARC in exchange for an honest and voluntary review.
I am eagerly awaiting the next Faith Hogan novel and her novels make me feel proud that I have Irish blood and am half Irish as they show how beautiful Ireland is.
Faith Hogan is, hands down, my favourite Irish author.
This is the book – the one that will finally make everyone understand why I’ve always been so passionate about Faith Hogan’s writing. In fact, there’s almost no need to write a review – it would be enough to just place the book, with its glorious cover that promises so much, into your hands and let you read the first few chapters. Whatever the books you usually read, whatever your age, whatever might be happening in your life, you will love this book every bit as much as I did – and that’s something I’ve never been so certain about.
At first, this is Elizabeth’s story, her life falling apart after the death of her doctor husband – not through grief, as theirs was never the most loving or conventional of marriages, but because she discovers that he’s left her with life-changing debts through his drinking and gambling. But she is fortunate to have a close friend she can confide in as she contemplates her past and the uncertain future – and Jo is also able to help in a practical way. Her daughter Lucy is taking a much needed break from her pressurised job in A&E, a breathing space she’s never really taken to recover from the end of her marriage, spending time with her mother while she decides what to do next with her life, and she steps in for a while to run the doctor’s surgery in Elizabeth’s Georgian house on the hill.
Ballymore is the last place on earth that Lucy’s son Niall wants to be – he’s very much a city boy, and although his young life has been far from perfect he wonders how on earth he’s going to survive in the back of beyond. And then there’s Dan – forced to abandon his high-flying life in London as a screen writer, he’s taking some much-needed time to lick his wounds and write his novel, but has also chosen to come to Ballymore for some compelling personal reasons.
The three women become firm friends, and Jo introduces them to her passion for swimming under the stars – the sheer exhilaration, the release, the opportunity to laugh and cry and shed their troubles as they shed their clothes, their friendship deepening with every dip in the ocean. And when it turns out that Jo has significant problems of her own that eclipse Elizabeth’s, that friendship deepens as they plan one big milestone that they’re all able to focus on – a charity event for a cause very close to their hearts, with all the women of the village coming together for one enormous (and naked) midnight swim.
Goodness, I do hate retelling a story – I can’t begin to convey just how wonderful it is, and I do feel I’ve rather squeezed the life out of it. What I really want to talk about is how this book made me feel – it’s all about the female friendships, but captured and told in a way I found so intensely moving. I read the book in one sitting, and nothing on earth could have made me leave the cocoon of love and support that the author created until I’d turned the final page. In so many ways, it’s an incredibly sad story – I had a lump in my throat from the halfway point, and then the tears started. But there’s absolutely no manipulation – it’s just a book where you come to care so deeply for its characters and their relationships that they become women you love, that you know so intimately, and every hurt and setback becomes something you feel at your core.
There is plenty of lightness too, the whole book perfectly balanced – there were so many moments that made me smile, and others when I found myself laughing out loud (the night when Dan discovers how they spend their nights will particularly stay in the memory). And there are so many other strong threads to the story, all impacting on the women’s lives – Dan’s work on his novel and the possibility of his quest reaching resolution, difficult decisions to be made over Niall’s future, the evolving plans for the surgery. The storytelling is entirely compelling, the characters so very real and relatable, the setting so vivid, and the whole book just feels just like the best night you could ever spend watching a great film – where you return to your own world at the end, blinking into the light, wiping away the tears, overwhelmingly empowered and uplifted, flooded with emotion, feeling so very privileged to have spent time with these wonderful women. And as well as that female friendship and closeness, there’s a really compelling theme of finding “home” – which is so much more than where you might choose to live, and more about where your heart really belongs.
This is, without question, one of the best books I’ve read this year – emotional and compelling, all-consuming, life-affirming and uplifting, and the strength of the characterisation and the sheer quality of the writing took my breath away. I’ll never forget how Elizabeth, Jo and Lucy and their love for each other made me feel. You really must add this wonderful book to your reading list – it’ll be a decision you won’t regret for an instant.
This is a lovely heartwarming story set on the west coast of Ireland. It explores female relationships and the importance of living life to the full. The setting is an immense part of this story giving the women space to breathe and think. The relationship dynamics are relatable, and the author explores topical issues in an enlightened way.
Character-driven, it immerses the reader in the main protagonists' lives, which is an emotional experience. Family drama, heartbreaking decisions and romance are interwoven into this literary puzzle, and despite the shocks and tears, it leaves you feeling uplifted.
I received a copy of this book from 'Head of Zeus' - Aria in return for an honest review.
I was drawn to this book because I love reading about long term female friendships and I was not disappointed. Elizabeth is left with debilitating debt, which is all a surprise, after her husband dies. The secrets involving him continue and it would be easy to hate him. I love that her friend Jo supports her and encourages her to make changes and decisions on her own. I laughed and smiled throughout the book. But, I also sobbed with emotion saved up for years and brought to light with the journey of these women. It was a beautiful journey of strength, love and community.
A beautify story of friendship, family and community. It made me want to pack up and move to Ballycove and jump straight into the Atlantic!
Set on the west coast of Ireland in a small village by the sea, Jo enjoys a a dip in the sea and often tries to encourage her friend Elizabeth to join her. Elizabeth is newly widowed and finally decides to take her up on her offer. Jo’s daughter Lucy, who lives in Dublin working in a busy A and E in a large hospital decides she needs a break. She decides to take a year off from her job, first thing she does is visit her mother with her 15 year old son. She too takes up the invitation of a swim and they all go most nights at midnight. Lucy decides to stay longer than intended as she becomes worried about her mother’s health.
The narrative consists of Jo, Elizabeth and Lucy’s POV and also of Jo’s son Nial and of a writer from London, Dan who goes to Ballycove to unwind and write his first novel. The reason he chooses Ballycove is because he was adopted, all he knows of his birth mother is that she was from Ballycove and possibly a young mother in the institute run by Nun’s. This makes the storyline even more interesting and we go on Dan’s own journey of discovery.
The descriptions of the setting are so vivid and the characters are real and likeable. This was so moving it made me cry real tears. The story moves quickly and although it is sad it is ultimately an uplifting and heartwarming read.
A heart warming tale of friendship. Elizabeth is helped by her friend Jo, who in turn asks her daughter Lucy to help. Following another shock they turn to the cold Irish sea to wash away their troubles. The characters are so likeable and the tale life affirming and heart warming. I cannot recommend it enough.
The Ladies Midnight Swimming Club is such a beautiful read. You’ll have your heart broken time and again as you’re introduced to the three ladies that the story centres around.
Elizabeth, lives in the big house, her place in society secure, respected as the doctors wife - that is until her world is rocked on its axis when her husband dies and she discovers a hidden secret that is set to leave her not only widowed but destitute and homeless. She needs to lean on best friend Jo who props her up and is the unbiased sounding board she needs. The friend, we’ve all got one, who pushes her outside of her comfort zone - Jo encourages Elizabeth to join her in her passion for swimming in the Irish Sea late at night. The quiet and the darkness, a safe place to talk openly and share their secrets.
Jo’s daughter Lucy arrives from Dublin with her son Niall to visit her mother for some time out and a break from her life as a busy doctor in an A & E department whilst ex husband lives the high life with his new partner in Australia.
Then there’s Dan a writer who rents a cottage to write his next novel, but the location of the cottage has been chosen for a reason - he gets more than he bargains for when he discovers the cottage is already occupied.
The story ebbs and flows as the author peels back the layers of each of the characters laying bare their problems and secrets - my heart wept and tears rolled down my face as Jo and Dan’s stories in particular were told. Lucy steps in to help Elizabeth, providing a sticking plaster on her problems, giving her the space to make her own decisions, to pave a path of her choosing.
The emotional connections, the strong bond of friendship, both long standing and short was beautiful to read as their lives entwined and they supported each other through a difficult time in each of their lives. Lucy uncovers a secret about her mother that sees her life free falling before she’s encouraged to join her mum Jo and Elizabeth swimming under the cover of darkness in the sea at Midnight - virtual hands are held, the sea washing away the tears as plans are made as members of the Ladies Midnight Swimming Club.
I highly recommend this book, it’s so difficult to put into words how uplifting and empowering reading this book was. The characters and scenarios were real, the emotions raw and the words floated around me long after I finished reading. No matter what’s going on in your life when you allow friends in, openly share your worries and fears and happiness too there’s always a solution to be found - not always a happy ending and I’m not sure I’m quite ready for swimming in the cold Irish Sea but Faith Hogan highlighted that openness, acceptance, trust and letting friendship in can be a better medicine than any prescribed drug!
Taken to the West Coast of Ireland in this novel has allowed me to swept away with the story and also out to sea, with the ladies of the midnight swimming club. By the end of the novel I hope more would have embraced the notion of walking into the Irish Sea and allowing the water, the waves and the peace to envelope them and heal them.
For the three main characters in this book, it is what brings them together at very different points in their life.
Elizabeth, recently widowed from the local GP, she finds that whilst she was keeping one of the secrets of her husband for her entire married life, he had a few more and this has resulted in her looking at her future from a penniless point of view.
Jo has been enjoying her dips in the sea for a long time and has encouraged her long standing friend Elizabeth to try it. Elizabeth is rightly distracted and Jo thinks she might have the answer to some of her problems; her own daughter Lucy.
Lucy burnt out as a A & E doctor in Dublin, working nights because it fits in, now her husband has left her and moved to the other side of the world. With a teenage son permanently attached to his computer gaming ,she thinks a change of scene will do them both some good, so she answers her mother’s request.
As Lucy arrives back to the village and things move forward for both Elizabeth and Lucy, it seems that it is now Jo’s turn to need their help. As the news affects them all, a strength of character drives them to bring all the women from the village and beyond to raise money for the local hospice together for a dip in the sea.
I enjoyed this tale of women’s strength and support played out in many different ways, whether it was the simple action of letting someone find their path in life or holding their hand as they embraced another life. A great tale of women’s friendship that warmed the heart and reminded me why friendships like that are so needed. As someone who embraces the outside swimming, I could relate to the peace it can give as it somehow grounds you and washes away that moment of stress.
If you want a book full of friendship and faith then this is the book which will warm your heart, even in the coldest water!
A truly beautiful and moving story. The characters were all really well written and easy to relate to. I actually think this book is crying out for a sequel.
Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for an advance copy of this in return for an honest review.
If you are a reader of women's fiction done right and enjoy novels by authors such as Elin Hilderbran and Susanne O'Leary you will love Faith Hogan. After reading this novel I went and found her previous works, and yes, I will say that her novels do live up to the hype I read about her (Faith Hogan) being an excellent book club choice. So grab a drink and your friends and start to answer the questions that Elizabeth was faced with in the novel "The Ladies'Midnight Swimming Club".
What if your whole life you thought you had was all a lie and the person with the answers ...the person you want to scream and yell at...is gone. I loved that Elizabeth didn't just crawl in a while and rot away, no one would have blamed her if she would have. I also loved that her support system was from two different women at two different ages, this allows each character to offer something different to the situations.
All good women's lit will make you laugh and cry....The Ladies Midnight Swimming Club does exactly that. By the time the novel ended, I felt that Elizabeth, Jpo, and Lucy were...are...my friends.
A tale of three strong women; Elizabeth, Jo and Lucy, each with their own tale to tell. They come together to support each other through their own challenges and embrace cold water swimming at Midnight, hence the title.
The author paints a lovely picture of the Irish scenery and the closeness between women and how they support each other through ups and downs. A tale of friendship, community spirit, love and pulling together.
Thanks to Netgalley for the ARC..
Firstly a huge thank you to Faith Hogan, Aria Fiction and Netgalley for the ARC I received in exchange for a honest review.
Heidi Swain quoted this book to be ‘Joyful, life-affirming and inspirational’ and it’s all of that and more. I read this book back in March and the characters have never left me, it’s one of those stories that stays with you long after finishing.
A story of friendship and family, new beginnings and loss. This book covers every emotion going and an emotional rollercoaster it was. Set in a beautiful Irish village, Faith’s descriptions helped me to set the scene creating a wonderful community spirit.
Three main characters, Elizabeth, Jo and Lucy. All so different, all facing different situations but during that midnight swim they come together and for a short while they are weightless. With a little humour thrown in, the midnight swimming scenes were my favourite.
I love Faith’s writing style, the character change for each chapter is a favourite of mine and it was a joy to read from all the characters point of view. The story was intriguing and left me wanting more, I hated having to put it down to ‘adult’!
This was a pleasure to read from start to end, a heartwarming read that will have you smiling through tears, honestly it’s one that should be on your tbr pile.
This is one of those rare books that comes along that takes hold of you and stays with you after the last page.
Elizabeth's husband, the local GP suddenly dies. It comes to light that he was a proliferate gambler and a closeted gay man. His gambling debts are putting Elizabeth in danger of losing both her home and his medical practice, so she makes arrangements with her best friend Jo's daughter, Lucy, to come to Ballycove and run the practice for a short time and see if it could be saved.
Lucy has recently left her high pressure job in a city ED, and looks forward to spending time with her Mum Jo. She brings along Niall, her son, but he's not particularly happy to be away from his friends and video games. It is good Lucy is there, though, as she discovers that Jo is very ill with what turns out to be cancer.
Dan is a television screenwriter who comes to Ballycove to write a novel after losing his job. He bonds with Niall and the ladies, and begins to feel his life would be better in this lovely small town.
The author has a lovely way with phrasing, using lines like "It felt as if something had clicked into place and it wasn't something she could quite put her finger on, but it was the feeling of coming home, what it meant to really come home, and maybe that was as much as she needed for now". I also loved this line: "....to listen to women whose friendship had sustained them through the unthinkable and was continuing to sustain them. That was what his book would be about - the indomitable spirit of friendship".
Thanks to the author, publisher and NetGalley for the opportunity to read and review this book, but my opinions are my own.
Sometimes you read a book that just makes you want to call all of your girlfriends, get together for a soul-baring evening of gossip, laughter, tears, big hugs all round, and sharing with them a book that has really moved you because it captures everything that is magical, wonderful and life-affirming about female friendship. There has been far too little of that over the past 18 months and it is one of the things I have missed the most throughout the pandemic restrictions. The Ladies’ Midnight Swimming Club is one of those books. Faith Hogan has managed to distil the essence of all that is wonderful about female friendship within its pages.
There is a character in this book for everyone to relate to. Elizabeth, recently widowed, whose life has always looked polished and perfect to the residents of Ballycove, but who is struggling behind closed doors with secrets that blighted her marriage, and more than have come to light since her husband’s death. She is supported throughout, as she always has been, by her generous friend, Jo, but Jo is now bearing a huge burden of her own. Jo’s daughter, Lucy, has come to Ballycove to work out a new path in life after her divorce, but will she be able to find a happy ever after that works for both herself and her unhappy son, Niall? Then there is Dan, who has come to Ballycove searching for a ghost from his past and a new way forward. Somehow, these people find amongst themselves a community and a peace that will see them all through on their different journeys.
This book is soul-warmingly, heart-squeezingly wonderful from beginning to end. From the very start, the stories of each of these women moved me because they were so real and authentic. I absolutely believed every single thing they were going through and all of their responses. The issues that the author addresses in this book – which may not be easy ones for some people to read about because they are so relatable – are something that will have touched each and every one of us in some way or another over the course of our lives, whether directly or through someone we know and we will recognise some of the joy, fear, pain, anguish, love and happiness portrayed here. Faith has really got under the skins of these characters and portrayed what they are going through in a way that communicates every nuance to the reader, so the book carries you along on its tide.
The notion of the Midnight Swimming Club is what will attract a lot of readers to this book, and it plays out exactly the way you hope it would. I adored the scenes involving the women taking to the sea, the feelings the wild swimming evokes in them, the way they talk and share and heal in the water, I believed all of it and was slightly jealous of their experience, even though I know it is fictional. Being able to draw a reader so completely into a world in this way is the skill of a great writer, and the reason we read in the first place. These are the reasons I love Faith’s books.
This is a truly fantastic read for any fans of intelligent and believable women’s fiction. It really moved me, but also left me feeling hopeful and uplifted. If you are a fan of Calendar Girls or The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, this book will give you the same warm feelings that you get from those movies, whilst still feeling that you have read something containing real emotional truth and an insight into the challenges women can overcome in their lives with support, love, friendship and hope. A gorgeous book.
Elizabeth has recently lost her husband who was the village GP. On going through his effects she finds that he was up to his neck in debt from gambling and so she needs to find something to bring money in otherwise she will lose the house. Her friend Jo has a daughter Lucy who is a single parent and looking for a new opportunity. Could the two perhaps fit or is the practice way too out of date for someone who has worked in a much more modern environment. The two older ladies enjoy swimming just for ten minutes or so at night when there is no-one around as they find it invigorating and life affirming.
Some have called this predictable- maybe it is- but in these uncertain times it’s nice to have some predictability and reassurance of fiction. I loved the characters in this especially Lucy who seemed to have so much to deal with but still came shining through with a smile for all those around her. There is a warmth in this book- of care and love and putting the past where it belongs- behind us, not always easy. Being positive and looking forward are a good mantra. An excellent read with a smile and a message- one life - live it!
(amazon done- misfits farm)
Riveting! Dynamic! Powerful!
Faith Hogan has managed to fulfill every emotion within one book.
Honestly, I don't know how she check marked every box with honesty, love, devotion, faith, and humility but she has and was able to consistently bring the compassion, empathy, and riveting characters to life with every turn of the page.
The Ladies Midnight Swimming Club is an absolute must read as it tackles many difficult and life altering subject matters. Whether it's an alarming health issue as Jo is facing, a life altering event that her daughter Lucy now faces after divorcing Jack, an alarming after-the-fact problem presented with Eric and Elizabeth's past relationship or a simple matter of speaking one's truths to find one's freedoms.
Every bit of it is relevant, timely, and on-point and it hits your hard without even being aware it's coming at you like a full blown train wreck.
It's not often I find a book that can drain me emotionally while fulfilling me at the same time with that tug-and-pull of uncovering one's zest in life.
What will be your legacy?
How will you live out your life?
Will you be happy in your current state? Are you really living the life you're meant to live?
So many questions that are posed for discussion that will make this a lovely book club discussion read for those seeking a book that stirs up plenty of invigorating and inviting topics.
Thank you to Faith Hogan, the pub, NetGalley, and Amazon Kindle for this ARC in exchange for this honest review.
It's not often a book can make me cry, even less often a book can make me laugh and cry in the same sitting.
What a wonderfully heartwarming book, that I just had to read as I've started swmming more outside myself.
A superb read! Friendship, family and secrets .. this has them all.
When Elizabeth's husband dies, she discovers he has left her with momentous debts. The only person she can tell is her friend Jo who calls her daughter in the hope she can help. When Lucy returns home, all three women become firm friends and life changes are on the horizon for each of them - some bigger than others. Swimming in the Irish Sea at midnight proves to be an invigorating experience, leading onto the idea to turn it into a community fundraiser. Will it work?
I've read Faith Hogan's books from the very beginning and have simply adored everything single one, and her latest sees a new maturity in her writing, showing the experience she has gained. This is a simply beautiful read, encompassing the difficulties which many of us get foisted upon us in life but it is told in such an uplifting way. I loved everything about it; the characters are beautifully and creatively drawn, the story draws the reader in and the writing makes us really care about it all. This is a novel which will appeal to all ages and leave everyone with the feeling that they have been privileged to share a part of these women's lives. A sheer, unadulterated delight from start to finish earns this one all five sparkling stars and my highest recommendation.
My thanks to the publisher for my copy via NetGalley and to Vicky Joss for my spot on this tour; this is - as always - my honest, original and unbiased review.