A debut which made a splash at the London Book Fair this year may be set to make it onto the big screen after the 26-year-old author sold film rights to the title.
Catalyst Global Media has optioned The Lido by Libby Page, which sold for six figures to Orion in the UK on the eve of London Book Fair in March, and also went for six figures in the US to Simon & Schuster.
The story, set in Brixton, London, has so far sold into 24 territories worldwide.
It tells of an unlikely friendship between 26-year-old Kate, a young woman feeling lost and lonely in London and in life, and Rosemary, an 86-year-old widow who is nostalgic for the past in a present day world she increasingly struggles to understand. Brought together by the imminent closure of the Lido they galvanise themselves, and eventually the local community they are part of, to fight against the overwhelming power of the council to implement financial cuts.
Catalyst Global Media, a film, television and gaming production company and content financier based in London, bought the rights from Emily Hayward Whitlock at The Artists Partnership on behalf of Robert Caskie at Caskie Mushens.
Page, an avid swimmer, said she was “delighted” by the news. “When I wrote the book I never imagined it would generate the interest it has - it really is a dream come true," she said.
Meanwhile a spokesperson for Catalyst said the novel “hits a chord”.
“We love that The Lido explores incredibly pertinent themes - and often overlooked characters - as although we are more connected than ever, a sense of loneliness too often prevails as one of society's greatest malaises,” the company said. “With Rosemary and Kate we also know that we have two gems of roles to take out to top talent.”
Caskie found the novel in his slush pile in January, shortly after founding a new literary agency with Juliet Mushens. Page has since quit her job in marketing to concentrate on writing.
Orion is set to release the novel in the UK next year.