Good morning everybody! I am super excited to be part of the official blog tour for Libby Page’s debut novel, The Lido.
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.
Official blurb for The Lido.
When I first saw the blurb for this book, I thought it sounded like my cup of tea! A feel-good story with memorable characters and an uplifting plot. However, that’s just the surface – when you dive in deeper, there is so much more. I cried both happy and sad tears at this story, really felt for the characters, and got swept up in the lido as if I was part of that community.
I really empathised with the character of Kate. She is not your everyday head- strong journalist looking for her next article. Instead, she is a woman who has never been given a big story to write, suffers from horrendous panic attacks, and cries herself to sleep alone in her room. I truly believed that Kate’s anxieties and panic were not a plot device. I admired the amount of work Page put into creating the character of Kate. To portray panic attacks in a novel is difficult, however Page must have done a lot of research as they were believable, yet the way she wrote it was also very respectful. So many times, I see books where authors may get anxiety and panic attacks wrong, but Page certainly got it right.
Rosemary is a wonderful character. Although 86, there’s so much life left in her. She is an inspiration to many, including Kate, who looks up to her and starts trying new things she never thought she would. I loved how the story went back and forth from the present to looking at Rosemary’s past with George, her late husband. Although this is a feel-good story, there were some heart-breaking moments which moved me to tears more than once, however Page always puts in a bit of comedy for light relief which had me laughing out loud! (One particular moment in the story involving a wet suit had me giggling for a while!)
The actual setting of the story was wonderful too. Although set in London, the lido provided a glorious oasis that I couldn’t help fanaticise about. I could see the mist on top of the water in the morning, I could feel the crisp sharpness of the first dive, I could understand that the lido was at the very core of a special community. So, when the idea of it closing came about, I really felt the emotion coming from the characters as if I was right there with them. For a lot of them, but mostly Rosemary, the lido is more than just an outdoor pool. The lido is home. The lido is family. The lido is love. Throughout the story, the reader is shown small insights into how the lido helps other people, even strangers. I really enjoyed these little glimpses as even some of the characters may not know how much of an impact the lido has had on their lives. It just goes to show that in an everchanging world, new isn’t always better.
I couldn’t help but read this book within two days. I got caught up with the community spirit and dived in head first! I warn you though, before I read this book I never considered taking up swimming as a hobby, with within days of finishing it I am already signed up to a local pool! This book may well get you into the swimming spirit! (The last time I swam in England was at secondary school and never thought I wanted to do it again… this book has impacted my life a lot more than I anticipated!) I think this is one of those stories that everyone would enjoy. Don’t get me wrong, I like a lot of genres, but this story was so much more than just your everyday cheerful novel. There is so much depth to these characters who I adored and fell in love with one by one. It goes to show that friendship is found in the unlikeliest of places. I would recommend to those who have been in a reading slump (as this will definitely get you out of it!) and for those wanting to try reading something a little different.
To some up, I would say this is a story that lifts your spirits, makes you laugh, makes you cry, and makes you a part of something big.
Who is my Rosemary?
For the blog tour, I was also asked as to who my Rosemary was. I pondered this for a while and realised that Rosemary’s spirit is everywhere: My mum who always believes in me and has taught me to never give up; my boyfriend who is always there for me and has taught me to love myself for who I am; the mature couple next door who, despite their age, have a youthful spirit and love learning new skills; my wonderful friends I have met whilst doing my MA who have shown me just how caring and kind people can be (you know who you are!). My Rosemary is everyone who supports me and fights for what they believe in.
The Lido is released on 19/04/2018 in the UK and 10/07/2018 in the US but is available to pre-order! See below for details!
Join in on social media!
Use the hashtag #lovethelido
Follow the author: @libbypagewrites
About the author
Libby Page graduated with a BA in fashion journalism from The London College of Fashion and worked for the Guardian in marketing before becoming a full-time writer. In addition to her author social media, Libby and her sister also run an Instagram (@theswimmingsisters) and blog dedicated to their joint passion for swimming and the benefits it has on mental health.
Libby is also a campaigner for fairer internships and has spoken on the radio, TV, and even in Parliament. When Libby was 16, she wrote an illustrated book, Love Pink, to raise money for Breast Cancer Care.
(Information provided by Orion Publishing The Lido press release)
Thank you to Rebecca Gray, Orion Publishing, and Libby Page for my copy of The Lido
Happy Reading! Lx
Check out the other stops on the blog tour too!