Author Topic: J.M. Barrie's Ladies' Swimming Society  (Read 130 times)

Hannah Grippo

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J.M. Barrie's Ladies' Swimming Society
« on: November 12, 2021, 03:32:37 PM »
I was wondering if anyone heard of the book "J.M. Barrie's Ladies' Swimming Society"? I came across it on Amazon when looking for something Barrie related.

https://www.amazon.com/J-M-Barrie-Ladies-Swimming-Society/dp/1476718733

Based on the summary, it doesn't seem like my sort of book, but I was still intrigued that Barrie's legacy was a part of a novel. I've seen other authors running through many contemporary works, but not really Barrie. The actual Barrie, not a fictionalized version of "some neighbor" in those ghastly Neverland sequels. Though I have no idea how accurate this is in that sense either as I thought Barrie went to Stanway in the 20s, not when he was writing Peter Pan. But I haven't read Andrew's book in ages, so forgive me if I'm horribly mixed up. Anyway, like I said, probably not my sort of book, but it was just funny to see nonetheless.

Brutus

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Re: J.M. Barrie's Ladies' Swimming Society
« Reply #1 on: November 13, 2021, 01:58:40 PM »
I've read it a while back and would not recommend it to anyone, particularly anyone interested in Barrie and his works, as it's got nothing to do with him (apart from the title of the novel).  The story is based in Stanway, the Earl of Wemyss's home and Cynthia Asquith's childhood home, which Barrie rented out for a few summers in the 1920s. Apart from that, it's a very (very!) slight story about a young woman "finding herself" thanks to some ladies' swimming club. It's not particularly well written and is  full of clichés, especially about English village life as imagined by non-British authors who've never lived there. There were one or two references to Barrie and Peter Pan in the novel, but these were not even accurate... In brief, I wouldn't bother!

Hannah Grippo

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Re: J.M. Barrie's Ladies' Swimming Society
« Reply #2 on: November 14, 2021, 02:02:01 PM »
That's exactly what I expected, and I wasn't planning on reading it. Thank you for your response though as you quelled my curiosity. I wonder if there's any other novels out there where Barrie makes an appearance, big or small. I was at the bookstore the other day and found a couple of novels on the display table about the author CS Lewis...or rather about fictional people with whom he interacts. While I don't read Lewis' religious essays, I grew up loving his Narnia books, so I was a bit curious. I've read other works of fiction where very real authors make their way through the pages, accurately or inaccurately - Lewis Carroll, L. Frank Baum, Virginia Woolf, Bruno Schulz, William Shakespeare, etc. Sometimes it makes me cringe, but other times it's well done and a bit exciting.