Review: The Swimming Pool by Louise Candlish

Hi All,

Hope you’re all having a good week so far and taking it easy. After an absolutely manic week last week, I’m glad to be slowing down this week and taking some time to wind down. It’s been a while since I’ve read a non-audio book, so I’m hoping to get some time for that in the coming days. I’ll still be listening to books in the car though; just as I did withΒ The Swimming Pool by Louise Candlish.

When a lido opens in Elm Hill, Natalie makes the most of her summer off work to spend as much time there as possible. Through the lido, she is introduced to the popular and glamorous Lara and they quickly become close friends. Natalie is brought into a world that is far from her own and is swept away by the in-crowd. However, bad memories of her childhood start to swim around in her mind and could be the unravelling of her new circle of friends and popular-girl lifestyle.

Earlier on in the year, I readΒ Our House by Louise CandlishΒ and thoroughly enjoyed it so I wanted to try another of her books. I picked this book at random from her list (mostly because I thought the cover looked quite cool) and didn’t read any synopsis before jumping in. Having retrospectively read the synopsis, I’m not convinced I would have chosen this one. I hate writing what could be deemed as a negative review, but I have to be honest.

I feel like there was a lot going on in this book, whilst not an awful lot of stuff happening. In my opinion, a lot of the narrative could have been cut out and didn’t add much to the storyline. Even now, I’m not quite sure what was supposed to be the main thread of the story. Obviously, the lido plays a big part in the story, but it’s not everything and I struggled to understand the point of some of what I would call “side stories”.

The characters weren’t too deep, but I must say, Natalie really annoyed me and wound me up which is surely a sign of good writing. I don’t think the reader is supposed to like Natalie (or at least I hope not), so that was a success. I don’t mind disliking a character, I actually quite like it when a character can draw out strong feelings in me. None of the other characters really played a huge part in it for me, she was definitely the main focus.

That said, if you’re looking for an audiobook you can listen to for background noise and still follow along even if your thoughts drift away for a while, this is good. There were times I thought “wow, when did I switch off” but I was able to catch up pretty quickly without having to rewind at all.

Unfortunately, this book just wasn’t for me. It hasn’t cast a negative light on the author for me though and I would definitely still like to give some of her other books a try.



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