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At the Pond Reviews

At the Pond by Margaret Drabble, Esther Freud, Sophie Mackintosh

At the Pond

Swimming at the Hampstead Ladies' Pond

Margaret Drabble, Esther Freud, Sophie Mackintosh

Score pending

1 review

Imprint: Daunt Books
Publisher: Daunt Books
Publication date: 20 Jun 2019
ISBN: 9781911547396

Tucked away along a shady path towards the north-east edge of Hampstead Heath is a sign: Women Only. This is the Kenwood Ladies' Bathing Pond.

4 stars out of 5
28 Jun 2019

"A collection of essays forms a paean to a women-only space that is a London institution"

Pond devotees captured here range from the distinguished — Margaret Drabble, Esther Freud, Deborah Moggach — to those who are famous among the outdoor swimming sorority, such as Leanne Shapton or Jessica Lee. The collection also introduces some remarkable younger voices, notably the brutally good Eli Goldstone, whose essay “Like A Rat” is about the pond, yes — but also about trying to find one’s place in the big city. Goldstone is stuck with ghastly rich friends: “strange old money relics who skied and bitched boringly about one another’s oil paintings”. She’s working as a life model — but the changing rooms at the pond are very different: “It was so nice not to be looked at.”