I’m delighted to be joining the blog tour today for The Lido Girls, the debut novel from Allie Burns, published by HQDigital on 2nd October. I sadly just couldn’t fit in the reading of this one – but I’ve certainly added it to my wish list to catch up with later.
Escape to the inter-war years in this emotional story where opportunity can be found at the pool-side in your local lido…
Change is in the air… London, 1930s: Natalie Flacker is tempted by the glamour of the new keep fit movement, but when she is dismissed from her prestigious job in PE she loses the life she so carefully built. Echoes of the war’s destruction still reverberate through her life, and now she is homeless, jobless and without prospects.
But connections made on a summer holiday, with her best friend Delphi, create opportunities. When Natalie is offered a summer job at a lido at the seaside, she jumps at the chance. But is she up to the challenge of taking on a group of unfit women in need of her help?
Set against the backdrop of the beginnings of the pioneering keep fit movement; this is a feel-good reminder of just what’s possible when you find the courage to follow your heart. Spend a very British summer with The Lido Girls!
I really rather like the look of that one. And I’m delighted to welcome Allie as my guest – with a post I rather like too!
I dedicate this book to you…
When I sat down to write the front matter of my debut novel The Lido Girls, I felt the decision might offend my husband but my first book had to be dedicated to my favourite primary school teacher.
I hadn’t spoken with the teacher in question for more than twenty years, but his encouragement and advice has definitely stayed with me and gave me the self-belief and motivation to learn more about writing. I have plenty to thank him for, he fostered my passion for reading and writing from a very early age, he took an interest and he was full of good advice for my future too. It seemed only right to dedicate the book to him as a way of acknowledging his support.
Natalie, my main character in The Lido Girls, is a teacher too. The story is set in 1935, and when the novel opens she teaches physical education and lives at a prestigious women’s college where she herself was a student. Natalie comes from a time when teaching was a very popular career for women who hadn’t married; their schools, work and pupils became substitute families for them. Women like Natalie were married to their occupation. That sounds like a negative, but teaching gave these women immense influence and power that they wouldn’t have had in their lives otherwise. Like my primary school teacher, Natalie takes the people she meets under her wing, helps them to see their own talents and to reach for their dreams. By the time I’d finished writing the book I felt heartened by what special people teachers are, and how they never take the credit themselves.
Since the book was published, I got in touch with my primary school teacher to let him know about the dedication and to say thanks again. It was definitely the right decision, but for my next book I will make sure I don’t overlook my husband for a second time!
With thanks to Allie and tour organiser Jenny at Neverland Blog Tours, I have a great international giveaway for you, with the chance to win a Boden beach towel, St Tropez fake tanning face bronzer and a signed postcard (worth £40).
Here’s the rafflecopter for entry:
About the author
Allie lives in Kent with her family and two tortoises. When she’s not writing for business or penning her Women’s Historical Fiction, Allie enjoys swimming and yoga. She has an MA in Professional Writing from Falmouth University and The Lido Girls is her debut novel. She is currently working on a second interwar years novel, which is due for publication in the summer of 2018.