Have you ever heard about the new genre Up Lit?
Kate is a twenty-six-year-old riddled with anxiety and panic attacks who works for a local paper in Brixton, London, covering forgettable small stories. When she’s assigned to write about the closing of the local lido (an outdoor pool and recreation center), she meets Rosemary, an eighty-six-year-old widow who has swum at the lido daily since it opened its doors when she was a child. It was here Rosemary fell in love with her husband, George; here that she’s found communion during her marriage and since George’s death. The lido has been a cornerstone in nearly every part of Rosemary’s life.But when a local developer attempts to buy the lido for a posh new apartment complex, Rosemary’s fond memories and sense of community are under threat. As Kate dives deeper into the lido’s history–with the help of a charming photographer–she pieces together a portrait of the pool, and a portrait of a singular woman, Rosemary. What begins as a simple local interest story for Kate soon blossoms into a beautiful friendship that provides sustenance to both women as they galvanize the community to fight the lido’s closure. Meanwhile, Rosemary slowly, finally, begins to open up to Kate, transforming them both in ways they never knew possible.
The lido is one of these books that are supposed to lift you up if you feel down. It’s an inspirational read about a public outdoor swimming pool in Brixton which is threatened to be closed. The community refuse to accept the change and they are determined to save their local gem.
Rosemary has lived in Brixton her whole life, now at the age of 86 she still goes every day for a swim in the Lido. That’s the place where she met her husband who had recently died and the place is a source of loving memories for her. It’s always been there since she was a child and the thought of losing it now is heartbreaking. She is not ready to give up the idea of saving the outdoor swimming pool so when the young journalist, Kate, asked her for an interview for the local newspaper where she can share the importance of the place for the community she agrees but under one condition. She insists Kate to go for a swim with her so she can experience what the lido can offer.
Kate, who is with 60 years younger than Rosemary, has lived in Brixton for a few years but hasn’t succeeded in really making it her home. She’s lonely, having no friends and her family lives far away. Her high levels of anxiety cause panic attacks, So when the 86 year old swimmer asked her to go for a swim she isn’t all that fascinated with the idea but has no other options. Her boss wants her to write an article about the lido and that’s her only chance for a progression in her career.
When Kate goes for a swim with Rosemary she sees the importance of that place for the locals so she writes not only one but a series of articles and even organizes a protest for the place to remain open.
This is a story, about loneliness, friendship, compassion and kindness. There is no drama, which makes it uplifting. It is a lovely summer read that reminds us of the importance of the places which connect people. If you like inspiring books then this one is for you.