Book Review: The Lido – A Small Community Story With Lots Of Heart
The Lido is a feel-good debut novel about the tight-knit London community of Brixton
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.
Duffy’s Thoughts On The Lido
Last year, most books were dark and had the title “The Girl….(on the train, gone, before). This year we have The Lido which brings a little bit of sunshine.
The news has been depressing me lately. Mass shootings, Trump being Trump, World Leaders acting like spoilt children. It’s a scary time and pretty depressing. I don’t check the news as often, anxious about what might be there, so when I read the book jacket for The Lido I was pleased. Something feel good!
There is a new term I’ve seen bandied about on social media, ‘up-lit’. I hate the term chick-lit, so am a little dubious about this term, but it seems that The Lido fits this genre perfectly. Up-Lit is a piece of fiction which has kindness at its core, and it seems to be a growing genre as we all want to read, watch and experience something good. The Lido provides 300+ pages of it and is an impressive debut novel.
Young Kate struggles with fitting in and also has the shadow of panic attacks follow her wherever she goes. Rosemary has lead a wonderful life for 86 years, but now her husband is gone, replaced with grief, loneliness and feeling like she doesn’t fit in anywhere anymore. Kate is a young reporter and meets Rosemary when covering the story of the potential closure of Brockwell Lido. As Rosemary shares a life centred around the pool, Kate begins one.
The plot is simple and the cast of characters is small enough to bring each of them depth and their own personalities. This is a common storyline, it’s nothing new to have a small community fight back against big developers. It’s also not new to have a younger person learn from an older one and create a special friendship. However, what sets The Lido apart is the incredible detail Page adds to the most simple of tasks. Buying fruit and veg from the local market, for example, takes you with Rosemary and you can smell the ripened tomatoes and hear the din of the market chatter. The characters all have unique voices and whenever I started to read I was taken right into the heart of Brixton life.
My Own Lido
Libby Page’s The Lido also got me thinking about the community I live in and the pool that I love. I know a tight-knit group of older people who look out for each other, and who genuinely want to know that answer when I meet them in the street and they ask “How are you love?” It also made me think about the local pool, the happiness and peace it brings me to sit there and read and swim in the summer and how sad I would be to lose it. Community facilities can be the life-blood for some, and this gentle, positive novel full of kindness shines a light on this.
A wonderful piece of fiction. A perfect gift to buy for anyone who needs a boost.
If you like The Lido, you’ll also enjoy One In A Million Boy