Wednesday, July 10, 2013

THE J.M. BARRIE LADIES' SWIMMING SOCIETY by Barbara J. Zitwer

From the back cover:

Joey is in the Cotswalds to oversee the restoration of the Stanway House – the stately home that inspired J.M. Barrie to write Peter Pan.  The project is far from easy.  The local residents aren’t entirely welcoming, and the brooding caretaker of the house seems to take every opportunity to undermine her plans.   Soon Joey begins to feel she cannot do anything right.

Until, that is, Joey discovers the J.M. Barrie Ladies’ Swimming Society, a group of women whom she joins on their daily dip in their own private Neverland.  For Joey, meeting Aggie, Gala, Lilia and their friends is a life-changing experience, the beginning of a friendship that will transform her in the most remarkable of ways.

I enjoyed this book very much. On the heels of a break-up, Joey has nothing to gain and everything to lose by taking on this project for her architecture firm. In addition to making the acquaintance of the J.M. Barrie Ladies' Swimming Society, she reconnects with a childhood friend whose life has followed a very different path and establishes a relationship with a headstrong teenager. And, of course, there is a love story.

That said, I wish this novel had gone deeper in many ways: into the lives of the elderly women, certainly, but also into the connection with J.M. Barrie and Peter Pan. Also, I discovered several grammatical and typographical errors which made me a bit crazy.

But for a lighthearted summer read with a taste of British life, a bit of history, and a satisfying romance, you can't go wrong with this book. Four stars! Recommended!

NOTE: I received a copy of this book for FREE in exchange for a written review. There was no expectation that this review be either positive or negative, and I was not given any financial compensation to read the book or write the review. This information is disclosed in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255 [...] Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

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