A tender, joyous debut novel about a cub reporter and her eighty-six-year-old subject—and the unlikely and life-changing friendship that develops between them.
Kate is a twenty-six-year-old riddled with anxiety and panic attacks who works for a local paper in Brixton, London, covering forgettably small stories. When she’s assigned to write about the closing of the local lido (an outdoor pool and recreation center), she meets Rosemary, an eighty-six-year-old widow who has swum at the lido daily since it opened its doors when she was a child. It was here Rosemary fell in love with her husband, George; here that she’s found communion during her marriage and since George’s death. The lido has been a cornerstone in nearly every part of Rosemary’s life.
But when a local developer attempts to buy the lido for a posh new apartment complex, Rosemary’s fond memories and sense of community are under threat.
As Kate dives deeper into the lido’s history—with the help of a charming photographer—she pieces together a portrait of the pool, and a portrait of a singular woman, Rosemary. What begins as a simple local interest story for Kate soon blossoms into a beautiful friendship that provides sustenance to both women as they galvanize the community to fight the lido’s closure. Meanwhile, Rosemary slowly, finally, begins to open up to Kate, transforming them both in ways they never knew possible.
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. Libby lives in London where she enjoys finding pockets of community within the city.
If you are looking for a light and gentle read and need to escape from reality for a while, then The Lido is a ideal, feel good, easy read. I listened to the audio version of this book, and whilst I didn’t love the narrator, the storyline was easy to follow and the characters were likeable and believable.
The blurb above describes the story in detail, so I don’t need to rehash it for you. The two main characters Kate and Rosemary are wonderful. Kate has moved from her home, family and friends in Bristol to London to work as a journalist for a small community newspaper The Brixton Chronicle. She is given a story to write about the local swimming pool, The Lido, which is due to close as developers are planning to build an exclusive apartment complex. This is where she meets Rosemary, a wonderful 86 year lady who has lived in Brixton all her life and swam in the lido every day since she was a child.
The two women strike up a wonderful friendship and this is basically the backbone of the story. A sweet feelgood story about friendship, love, loyalty and community.