Phil: Dropping into my local library, I spotted an attractive book in the new items section. I’m not sure why it appealed – although a local fight to save a lido, or perhaps the Nolan’s requests for lido’s she could visit during last summer’s heatwave might have had something to do with it.
The story has two main strands;
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.
When the lido is threatened with closure, Rosemary rallies the local community and comes into contact with Kate, who champions their cause in the local press. Along the way, Kate grows in confidence and starts to find her feet in the local area.
There’s a third strand as we follow Rosemary and her husband in flashback, the lido playing an important part in bringing them together.
Said like this it all sounds a bit run of the mill, but the book sweeps you along to the bitter-sweet conclusion.
What I don’t understand is why I enjoyed it so much. The front cover describes it as “Joyous and uplifting” which it certainly is.
It’s not just me either. A quick renewal and for the first time ever I lent it to Candice and she quickly read and enjoyed it too. Then my mum read it and loved it.
This is not great literature. To be honest, you can probably work out the bare bones of the plot pretty early on but it really doesn’t matter. What it is is the sort of book people enjoy. Read on a sunlounger it would be perfect, but it’s just as good on a chilly winters day in front of the fire. Just the sort of book we have aspired to write.