Monday, 19 March 2018

Book Review - The Whitstable High Tide Swimming Club by Katie May - Rachel Reads Randomly Book #90

Amazon UK
Title: The Whitstable High Tide Swimming Club
Author: Katie May
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: Trapeze
Publication Date: 8th February 2018
Rating: 4 Stars

Dive into The Whitstable High Tide Swimming Club - the uplifting novel about friendship, community spirit and how ordinary people protect what they love.

When Deb (ageing bikini, sunglasses) and Maisie (black wetsuit, swimming shoes, goggles) keep meeting on Reeves Beach, they strike up an unlikely friendship based on their love of swimming and their recent divorces. Soon, they are joined by other high tide swimmers, each with a crisis of their own to weather. Ann, a bossy organiser, is caring for her elderly mother at home; Julie has somehow (although she's not quite sure how) managed to produce three children under school age; and Chloe, a bright, brittle girl of fifteen, finds calmness in the water, and Quiet, anxious Bill is soon welcomed into the heart of the club. When the swimmers discover plans for their beach to be paved over for a leisure complex, together they are determined to make a stand, and to prove that the beach is more than just a place to swim - it is the heart of the community.

Brace yourself for a group of people who are happy to swim in the English sea once or twice a day when it is high tide, sometimes in the early hours of the morning.  As someone that recalls paddling in English seaside resorts as a child all I can say is these characters must be just slightly bonkers as the water is always freezing, that and its been snowing while I have been reading this. 

As it so happens the characters you meet in this book are all just ordinary people, especially Deb and Maisie the main protagonists, who are the first two women we meet that happen to be there every day swimming when its high tide.  

Whether they like it or not when they meet Anne, suddenly a club is being formed and soon there are a whole host of them that meet on a regular basis to swim and become friends.  Maisie and Deb are in the prime of their lives,  and you have a complete mix of people who enjoy swimming from the teenage, you busy mothers, to the elderly. 

The book was originally published in three parts, and you can see that in the three parts the book is split into with each of part 1 and two ending on a mini cliffhanger to keep your reading.   The first part focuses on the formation of the the club and largely works as a great introduction to all the characters,  part two is about the beginnings of the fight to save the beach, and then part 3... well part 3 culminates all of this and much much more. 

Even at Deb's age of a grandma in her sixties, i would almost describe this as a coming of age story for her, as she learns to stand on her own two feet after leaving her husband, and starting to figure out just who she is as an adult.  There are some hilarious scenes early on with regards the temporary job she has taken on, and although at times I wasn't sure how much I liked Deb, but I could sympathise with her, and loved the development of her character. 

I loved the ups and downs of this community and by the end I felt as though I was part of their club. Its a great story of the underdog, touches on assorted serious topics, but also some great comedy too.  Just an all around enjoyable book. 

Thanks to Trapeze and Netgalley for this copy which I have reviewed honestly and voluntarily. 

Thank you to everyone that voted for this this week,  I was very surprised at the start of the week that this would be the one I would be reading, but incredibly glad that in my mind the underdog won, given the book features an underdog too   So what will you all be voting for this week? Go check it out if you haven't already.

1 comment:

  1. I do love it when we pick something completely unpredictable and you end up enjoying it! I really fancy reading that too now


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