Wednesday 26 January 2022

Book Review: The Ladies' Midnight Swimming Club by Faith Hogan

The Ladies' Midnight Swimming Club by Faith Hogan book cover

Three women. Three different stages of life. United by one thing: the chance to start again.

When Elizabeth's husband dies, leaving her with crippling debt, the only person she can turn to is her friend, Jo. Soon Jo has called in her daughter, Lucy, to help save Elizabeth from bankruptcy. Leaving her old life behind, Lucy is determined to make the most of her fresh start.

As life slowly begins to return to normal, these three women, thrown together by circumstance, become fast friends. But then Jo's world is turned upside down when she receives some shocking news.

In search of solace, Jo and Elizabeth find themselves enjoying midnight dips in the freezing Irish Sea. Here they can laugh, cry and wash away all their fears. As well as conjure a fundraising plan for the local hospice that will bring the whole community together...

The close bonds between family and friends are explored in detail within the pages of this book. The Ladies' Midnight Swimming Club focuses primarily on three women - Jo, her daughter Lucy, and her friend Elizabeth. Each is different yet they all share certain similarities, meaning that they become firm friends in no time at all. However, each member of the trio has her own battles to face and the road ahead certainly isn't an easy one. 

The story is set in Ireland, in the small fictional village of Ballycove. Despite the frequent storms and the isolated location, Ballycove sounds idyllic and it's easy to picture the town, the beach, and the cliffs that are all featured in the book. I know I'd definitely love to visit Ballycove! 

Sadly, however, I found this book just didn't gel with me. It was a struggle to read - not because it was bad, but because I wasn't really enjoying it. Of course, there were highlights to the book, but overall, I found it to be quite formulaic, repetitive, and not particularly engaging.

This is a real shame as Jo's story in particular was a very moving, emotional journey. It was beautifully written and expertly handled; at one point I even had tears in my eyes and a lump in my throat!

The Ladies' Midnight Swimming Club just didn't do it for me, but if you enjoy contemporary fiction, it might be right up your street instead.

Rating: 2 stars 

The Ladies' Midnight Swimming Club is available to buy now.

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WIll you be reading the book? Let me know in the comments below! 

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