About the book
The Lido is published by Orion and was first available on 19th April 2018 in hardback and digital forms, and from 4th April 2019 in paperback.
Meet Rosemary, 86, and Kate, 26: dreamers, campaigners, outdoor swimmers.
Rosemary has lived in Brixton all her life, but everything she knows is changing. Only the local lido, where she swims every day, remains a constant reminder of the past and her beloved husband George.
Kate has just moved and feels adrift in a city that is too big for her. She’s on the bottom rung of her career as a local journalist, and is determined to make something of it.
So when the lido is threatened with closure, Kate knows this story could be her chance to shine. But for Rosemary, it could be the end of everything. Together they are determined to make a stand, and to prove that the pool is more than just a place to swim – it is the heart of the community.
The Lido is an uplifting novel about the importance of friendship, the value of community, and how
ordinary people can protect the things they love.
As soon as I heard about The Lido, early last year, I knew I wanted to read it alongside the sunnier days, but as spring turned into summer, and summer into Autumn I was once again drowning in my TBR pile! I told myself that I must read it the following spring… and I did, and I’m so glad I did!
The Lido is a story following two women at opposite ends of their life. Kate, 26 and Rosemary, 86. Kate is a journalist for local newspaper the Brixton Chronicle. Still struggling to adjust to life in London, she feels she’s just existing rather than living; no friends and suffering from self doubt, anxiety and panic attacks. Meanwhile, Rosemary has lived in Brixton all her life; watching it slowly change as the years go by. Now, recently widowed, she’s finding it hard to adjust to life without her beloved husband George, but she still has the other one constant in her life, The Lido, where she has swum almost everyday since she was a young girl and where her memories of him always are. Until it’s threatened with closure…
When Kate is assigned to write a piece on the impending closure of The Lido she meets Rosemary and a burgeoning friendship begins to develop between these two women. For what is initially just a job for Kate, turns out to be the awakening she needs!
The Lido is what it is; it’s not flashy or twisty, it’s just what I’d call a real lovely story focusing on friendship and community – the young, old, various races and cultures coming together to fight for something that links them all. Rosemary is the heart of this novel; fiery, stubborn, passionate, and as wise as an owl – she’s the lynchpin of this community. There’s a spark to her which really comes alive in the entwined love story running throughout the novel of her life with George – in some of the moments she relives you see she’s got a very mischievous streak which provides both humorous and the most tender of moments. It took me a while longer to warm to Kate but I liked watching her confidence grow and become her own.
In todays day and age I felt this was a very current read and one that will resonate with many. I used to look out of my bedroom window and see green fields over the way, yet the past couple of years it’s slowly vanished and being overtaken by buildings. It saddens me sometimes of how my town has changed. These days, more and more of the hearts of our communities are being ripped apart; Libby Page highlights the impact of social closures in this novel with references to the closing of the library where Rosemary used to work. Amenities such as libraries and leisure centres bring people together no matter what their age or background – and by taking away these amenities you are taking away community! The way in which Page writes about community, made me feel as though I was part of this one – I became as passionate as the people of Brixton in wanting The Lido to remain open.
What got me most in this novel was how the author vividly brought The Lido itself to life. Every time we were taken back to The Lido, whether it be in present day, or past, I could so clearly envisage it, and my senses were filled. I could see that early morning layer of mist when the cover came off, I could picture the different types of people around it, I could hear the bustling of the café, feel the crispness and coldness of the water and the sun beaming down on my face – in fact, it made me wish I had a lido near by! I think this book will definitely open people’s eyes to Lidos around the country, I know I was more than a little bit surprised by how many there were when I had a google.
This novel is a strong reminder and celebration that age is nothing but a number when it comes to friendship; it’s important, powerful and life-changing in even the most unlikeliest of forms – the young and old can both learn and gain a huge amount from one another.
The Lido is a heart-warming and uplifting story of loneliness, identity, ageing, fear of change and embracing change. Short chapters, a gentle pace and a calming feel make it the perfect book to dip in and out of on those summer days.
Thank you for taking the time to read my review. As always, a little like or share to spread the word is always most appreciated, and if you like the sound of The Lido then do follow the below links to purchase a copy for yourself…
About the author
Libby Page wrote The Lido while working in marketing and moonlighting as a writer.
The Lido has sold in over twenty territories around the world and film rights have been sold to Catalyst Global Media.
After writing, Libby’s second passion is outdoor swimming.
Libby lives in London where she enjoys finding new swimming spots and pockets of community within the city.