ShortBookandScribes #PublicationDay #BookReview – The Lifeline by Libby Page

The Lifeline by Libby Page is published by Orion today in hardcover, eBook and audiobook. My thanks to the publishers for the proof copy.

Everybody needs saving sometimes…

For Kate, having a newborn baby means she is almost never alone. But that doesn’t mean she isn’t lonely. The move from London to Somerset with her husband Jay was supposed be the start of an exciting new chapter. But sometimes she can’t help but wonder if she turned the pages too soon . . .

Phoebe needs help. As a mental health nurse serving her community, the wellbeing of her patients has always come before her own. Yet there’s only so long she can pour from an empty cup.

Looking for a lifeline, Kate and Phoebe find a sense of community – and each other – through their local river swimming group. But when things get tough, they realise that good friends can both raise us up and stop us sinking.

The Lifeline is a follow-on novel to The Lido, Libby Page’s first novel. Readers of that book will remember Kate, one of the main characters, but if you haven’t read it you can still read The Lifeline as things have moved on by a few years and anything important is explained. I would just add that I highly recommend The Lido if you haven’t read it yet.

In The Lifeline, the story alternates between new mother, Kate, and mental health nurse, Phoebe. Kate has moved to Somerset with her husband and baby daughter for a few reasons, mainly the close proximity of her family and for a more relaxed pace of life. Motherhood isn’t quite turning out how she thought it would though, and as she struggles through she needs something to make her feel like her old self again. Phoebe absolutely loves her job and gives so much of herself to her patients at the expense of her own mental health. Both Kate and Phoebe end up being drawn to a local river and then into the river swimming group, and it’s there that they feel able to relax and truly be themselves.

I follow Libby Page on social media and recognise a lot of her in Kate’s story. I thought the way she writes about being a new parent was spot on and so much of it resonated with me. I also really loved the Somerset village life, the independent shops and cafes, and the sense of community which made for such an appealing setting. I want to be eating at the Italian deli and wandering down the riverbank to the Kingfisher Café and Book Barge. I won’t be tempted into wild swimming, but despite that I could sense the calm freedom that the river offers to all the characters.

The Lifeline is a candid look at two big issues: motherhood and mental health, but it’s also crammed with friendship and love. It’s a joyful and uplifting novel full of heart, beautifully written with such empathy for the characters who I really loved reading about. What a lovely book!

Libby Page is the Sunday Times bestselling author of The Lido, The 24-Hour Café andThe Island Home. The Vintage Shop is her fourth novel. Before becoming an author, she worked in journalism and marketing. She is a keen outdoor swimmer and lives in Somerset with her husband and young son.

Follow Libby on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook: @libbypagewrites.


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