Tuesday, July 17, 2018

The Lido by Libby Page

Rosemary Peterson has been swimming at her local lido since the day it first opened. A neighborhood landmark, the open-air pool (and cafe and yoga studio) is a workout spot and meeting place that welcomes everyone. But as the local council explains, it's costly to maintain and money has become tight. So when a private company offers to buy the land, with plans to tear the lido down and build a condo and private facility in its place, Rosemary is just one of the people hoping to convince the council otherwise.

Kate Matthews is lonely in Brixton. Regular panic attacks and a lack of nearby friends makes it hard to get out and socialize. But all of that changes when she's tasked with covering the lido story for the local paper. Her first assignment is to interview Rosemary for a human interest piece on the pool. And it's just the first of many. As more people catch wind of the lido's possible demise, Kate suggests a series that spurs the locals and the fight to save the lido. And as she finds that as she and Rosemary become closer, the lido and her new friends become just as important to Kate as well.

Libby Page's debut is a charming feel-good read perfect for melting the hardest of hearts!

The story alternates between Kate and Rosemary and present day and past - particularly Rosemary's story with her husband George who's passed away by the time the book begins. Theirs is a sweet love story - they met after the war when he'd returned from being evacuated to the countryside, married, and lived in the apartment Rosemary still resides in as the story takes place. All the while, the lido was an integral part of their lives.

Interspersed throughout are chapters about the various locals who also escape to the lido, giving the reader a chance to get a feel for the community as a whole. With the lido as its heart, Kate and Rosemary's corner of Brixton comes to life through the story of the local bookstore, the local grocer, even the bar that was once George's own shop, and the people who live and work there.

It's a story of community and friendship in particular. But it's also the story of Kate coming into her own. Kate is quiet and very much focused on taking up as little space as possible. Escaping notice. Except when it comes to work. And the series not only forces her to come out of her shell - Rosemary grants her an interview on the promise that Kate will swim at the lido - it also gives her a chance to believe in herself for the first time.

The Lido is such a sweet story, one that I absolutely highly recommend to anyone looking for a fun read that'll give them all the warm fuzzies!


Kay said...

Yours is not the first positive review I've read about The Lido. I really need to try this one, especially as an antidote to some of the glommier reads that I tend to try.

Becky LeJeune said...

It's such a sweet read, Kay! Definitely an antidote to gloomier reads - and perfect for summer :)