I’m not crying, you’re crying! Not to worry though, I am absolutely talking about crying in the very best sense of the word. Sure, it may be big fat tears rolling down your face headed rapidly towards the very absorbent pages of your book and silvery strands of snot flowing from your nose, but it feels so damn good.
Now, you’ll note that the photo here and the title I refer to is The Lido. That’s because I am quite posh and read the UK version of the book, which in Canada is called Mornings With Rosemary because, I can only assume, the powers that be probably think that North Americans don’t know what a Lido is. I’ll tell you however, it’s pretty obvious well, immediately. So, if you’d like to buy this book, the link I’ve included is for the latter title not the former. I can’t tell you where I get my posh UK versions… it’s a highly confidential bookseller secret.
Libby Page, who writes for the beloved word carrier, The Guardian in her hometown of London, has not only written her first novel but has managed to create a story that feels so real that you have to remind yourself you’re not really in the midst of it. Her characters are people you know or people your friends know or maybe even you! Her depiction of young life and how a person grows through their own story and into old age is transformative and inspiring. She offers us a glimpse into our own futures while giving us a gentle reminder to be kind and respectful to those who have more years or perhaps decades behind them.
Following the popular style of flashing back and then forwards from one character to another which in may cases is confusing, in her novel Page does it with such magical fluidity that her words weave a tale so natural you can see yourself within its folds. (I am obviously working in the bookshop in the story.) The intimacy we are invited to see with several of the characters is honest and convincing, the kind that makes these people stay with you long after you’ve closed the book.
The Lido or Mornings With Rosemary is definitely one of those feel good books, the kind we need to read more and more often these days in my humble opinion. Well written and with a point, a moral, a takeaway, all of the goods. Read it friends, just read it.