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The J.M. Barrie Ladies' Swimming Society Paperback


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Atria Books/Marble Arch Press; Reprint edition (December 4, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1476718733
  • ISBN-13: 978-1476718736
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.4 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (65 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #179,399 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"A love story, but also a tribute to a unique breed of English old lady." --The Times

"Think Guernsey Literary And Potato Peel Pie Society... Joey finds a pond and a group of feisty old ladies, friends for life, who exchange wisdom and wisecracks around the ritual of a freezing daily dip. Love, enlightenment and risk of frostbite follow." --Daily Mail

"Zitwer's fabulous cast of warm, funny and feisty characters would tempt anyone to jump in and swim in a lake of icy water with them. I adored this book." --Cathy Woodman, author of It Must Be Love

"The feisty members of the J.M. Barrie Ladies' Swimming Society are a cast of characters to delight all readers." --The Lady, Must Read of the Month

"A book that really had to be... The story is lovely, and Barbara J. Zwiter balances different plot strands and different themes beautifully... I loved Joey's story, and the spirit of The J. M. Barrie Ladies Swimming Society made it even more wonderful." --Fleur Fisher

About the Author

Barbara J. Zitwer is an international literary agent. She graduated from Columbia Film School and prior to working in publishing, she produced films, including Vampire’s Kiss with Nicolas Cage. Zitwer co-wrote the play Paper Doll about Jacqueline Susann. She lives with her husband and their two dogs in New York City.

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Customer Reviews

Easy to read pleasant story.
Alison Naylor
It was a nice, light hearted story that emphasized the importance of friendship particularly among women...of all ages.
Joy Sherman
Characters not particularly believable and nothing was really fleshed out - story or character wise.
vikstar

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Damaskcat on August 30, 2012
Format: Paperback
Joey finds herself unexpectedly in charge of a project to refurbish a country house in the Cotswolds which has associations with J M Barrie the author of `Peter Pan'. Joey is thrilled and apprehensive as she travels from her home in New York to England to oversee the project. She hopes to renew her friendship with Sarah who is married and lives in England with her husband and children.

While staying at Stanway House, Joey makes friends with a group of women who meet to swim in a local pond and have been doing so for the last fifty years. She finds this group of five elderly ladies have a great deal to teach her about life and friendship as well as that swimming in winter when you have to break the ice first can be a life changing experience.

I really enjoyed this book which has some quite profound observations on female friendship and how it develops and changes over the years. I loved the characters and the way they all developed throughout the book and how the relationships weren't all sweetness and light. I especially liked Ian - the caretaker of Stanway House and his daughter Lily. I thought they were well done. This is primarily a novel about women of all ages and how they relate to each other and it will make the reader laugh and cry.

If you want something a bit different from chick lit and with a slightly older heroine then give this book a try, it definitely has the feel good factor.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By JilChad on December 9, 2012
Format: Paperback
This book offers a lot. It's sheer fun combined with romance and a heaping helping of womanly wisdom dispensed by a group of ladies who have been life long friends. You'll easily relate to one of the many strong female characters in this book, be it an Aunt, mother, sister or best friend. Draw yourself a warm bubble bath, pour a glass of wine and read this lovely book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Jay Howard on September 12, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition
Without the elderly ladies it stands up as a good romance. With them it is lifted into a whole other dimension. The MC, Joey, develops wonderfully under their influence. These are feisty ladies, well-rounded characters who know their own minds, are prepared to argue the point, and demonstrate all the little foibles and failings of humans. They have loved and stayed loyal to each for decades. They teach Joey the real meaning of friendship and, in offering friendship, help Joey repair her own lapsed friendships. I would really like to have spent much more time with them.

The younger generation is not forgotten in the eclectic cast. Lily is a delight and a catalyst for much of the action. The author demonstrates great understanding, empathy and compassion in this tale of family and friends, life and love.

And I would love to go swimming in that pond...
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Pam Asberry on July 10, 2013
Format: Paperback
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.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Sue Canberra on June 7, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A novel link to Peter Pan. Thoroughly enjoyable: love, friendship and the power of girlfriends. Women who look after their friends.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By JB on May 30, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book falls into the 'holiday reading' category, or at least relaxing over a wet weekend. The storyline is different to the usual light fiction, and has some wonderful characters who do amazing things (like swimming in mid-winter in England!). As a reader who does not live in England I found the descriptions of the countryside, and the activities of the people who do live there most interesting and entertaining. I can recommend the book to anyone who enjoys modern ficton.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Well written and easy read
Explores friendships and the complex relationships of some which are real but not spoken about
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