The Ladies’ Midnight Swimming Club

B08BV1M1QR.01._SCLZZZZZZZ_SX500_Three women facing difficult life stages find emotional release and form bonds by swimming in the Irish sea. Elizabeth is a widow struggling with huge debts, a crumbling house, and an old-fashioned surgery. Her friend, Jo, is facing her own life-changing problems but enlists the help of her daughter, to discover that Lucy prefers a small village medical practice to that of a busy London hospital, after all. Meanwhile, Dan has lost his high-profile job and is renting a cottage in the village to write a novel, and seek out his real blood mother. This is a gentle, undemanding, predictable, rather cosy read despite some of the subject matter being about serious issues such as cancer, adoption, and debt. There isn’t too much tension, the main characters and the village community are all pleasant, and everything is nicely tied-up at the end. Some of the scenes felt a little contrived and lacking in depth and I don’t know why, but I expected this novel to be more gritty. Descriptions of the location were very good indeed and there was a great sense of time and place, but I didn’t feel the plot was especially real, or believable, and there was a distinct overuse of, ‘gently,’ and ‘softly,’ cropping up in dialogue tags. Overall, a decent read for a dose of easy escapism in a beautiful wild setting, and a story which champions the strength of female friendship.

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