The Water Babes is the book for anyone who ever joined – or ever thought of joining – a group, perhaps for exercising, reading, quizzing, or playing cards. This novel is about ‘The Water Babes’, a group who get together each week for a lesson in aquarobics, a series of light exercises in water.
The novel brings together people of different cultural, religious, racial and class backgrounds. The story unfolds over the last day of the class. In the morning we see the group’s final lesson. In the afternoon we see some of them split up and take tea in different parts of town. In the evening we see their farewell party for their instructor, who is about to return home to Australia.
Throughout the day we are witness to laughter and tears, and to various incidents and accidents, some amusing, others less so. At the evening party, more than food and drink are shared…We hear confessional surprises and endure outright shocks. All this from just one group of very different people.
But are people so very different from each other? The evidence from this slice of life of contemporary Britain is that each of us is not so different or unique as we may think. We learn that apparently different individuals may be connected to other members of their group in more ways than might at first appear. This novel demonstrates the old adage that no man – or woman – is an island. On the contrary, the story shows that we are all in this together. The Water Babes is a story to make you think.
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