The Lido by Libby Page
What an absolute joy to read. It is a novel that just had the most wonderful storyline about friendship and love and also the love of the community that you live in. The Lido is a fabulous debut novel by Libby Page that is so uplifting it makes your heart sing.
The local community is the heartbeat of society and the amenities that are there whether that is a library or swimming pool or even a lido belong to the people of that community, when you start to lose those amenities the community starts to go with it. Welcome to The Lido the beautiful debut novel by Libby Page that is being spoken of so highly this Spring.
The Story is set in Brixton, South London. We meet Kate is a lonely 26-year-old woman whose life seems to be just going to work and going back to her home she shares with a group of people she does not know. Her life of ready meals and seclusion made me feel for very quickly into the story. Then there is 86-year-old Rosemary who has lived here all her life she is missing her beloved husband George who died a few years ago and now for Rosemary she swims at the lido, the local library she used regularly has gone and is now a wine bar, for Rosemary the lido is all she has left and the memories of learning to swim here and the memories of George, she still goes to swim but also to remember. What would happen though if the lido was also to close. It has been part of the community for generations. It is now under threat by a property development business who has been talking to the local council about buying the lido and turning into an exclusive gym and tennis courts. Rosemary upset at the proposed closure of the lido now starts a campaign to keep it open.
Kate moved here to take up a reporter for a local newspaper and now she has been given the story about the proposed buyout of the lido by and what is to come. Kate has been struggling to settle in the area and suffers from debilitating panic attacks that can strike at any moment. She meets Rosemary at the lido and as a condition of an interview Kate must accompany her and swim in the open air pool. Throughout this deeply warm and emotional story we meet some great characters that Libby Page weaves into the story and they also become part of this local storyline.
The Lido is an emotional rollercoaster as we do not know of the outcome and what will happen if it does close. What would become of Rosemary and the home that is the lido. This is not just a story of the lido it is a story of a local community that is changing with time, the closure of the library and how the local market changes. Then there is the bookshop and how it is struggling to keep going. The people are the community and there are some truly wonderful moments in this book that just stand out. The lido is one of the books of 2018 and one I think we will be hearing a lot more about. I am already missing the characters. For the author Libby Page this is a work of literary art. I loved it. If you have read Three Things about Elsie by Joanna Cannon or Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman you will love The Lido.
Thank you to Rebecca Gray at Orion Books for the review copy of The Lido by Libby Page.
The Lido is published by Orion Publishing and was published on 19th April 2018 and is available through Waterstones, Amazon and through your local independent bookshop.