It's summer when Elm Hill lido opens, having stood empty for years. For Natalie Steele - wife, mother, teacher - it offers freedom from the tightly controlled routines of work and family. Especially when it leads her to Lara Channing, a charismatic former actress with a lavish bohemian lifestyle, who seems all too happy to invite Natalie into her elite circle.
Soon Natalie is spending long days at the pool, socializing with new friends and basking in a popularity she didn't know she'd been missing. Real life, and the person she used to be, begins to feel very far away.
But is such a change in fortunes too good to be true? Why are dark memories of a summer long ago now threatening to surface? And, without realizing, could Natalie have been swept dangerously out of her depth?
When I saw the cover for Swimming Pool by Louise Candish I headed straight to Amazon to read the synopsis and it immediately had me intrigued and after reading some rave reviews by reviewers who have similar taste to me I couldn’t wait to read it but unfortunately I did struggle with the structure of this book.
The storyline as you can imagine revolves around a swimming pool, Elm Hill Lido which has recently just been reopened with the help of Lara Channing and she soon becomes the woman who everyone wants to be associated with.
The swimming pool reopening isn’t good news for everyone though especially Natalie and her daughter Molly who has an extreme phobia of the water but despite her daughters phobia Natalie can’t stay away as she has been dazzled by Lara and wants to be a part of her social circle.
The storyline moves between different time frames and although I have read plenty of books that are written in dual time frames for some reason I found myself constantly losing my way and having to look back to see what time frame I was in as it would jump back to when our protagonist was young then back to the present day then back to a few weeks before and the back to present day again and I just couldn’t get to grips with this but I haven’t seen this mentioned in other reviews so it is obviously just something that personally I couldn’t get to grips with.
There was still something about the storyline that still kept me intrigued and determined to continue reading and I think that was the suspense and also the sinister feel to the storyline. Our protagonist Natalie is not a character people will warm to, she craved acceptance and status, she was frustrating and childish but I was very curious about her character.
I was very suspicious of the friendship between Natalie and Lara but as the storyline moved along I found I was suspicious of quite a number of characters as they all had something about them that was a little off and I couldn’t work out what their intentions were.
I did find the storyline unpredictable I did think I had worked out what was going to be revealed but I had drifted down the wrong path. Despite my struggles with the structure of the book I did still enjoy the storyline and it would have easily been a 4 star read for me but the structure did effect the flow of the book for me so this is the reason I have given the book a 3 star rating but I still recommend you to pick up this book as you may not have the same trouble I had keeping up with the time frames.