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Small Pleasures

Small Pleasures

‘The glorious literary equivalent of pulling the duvet over your head… If you admire Tessa Hadley or Anne Tyler (and there are shades of Barbara Pym too), then this is one for you’ Bookseller, Book of the Month

‘The 21st century heir to Jane Austen, Barbara Pym and Elizabeth Taylor’ Amanda Craig, author of The Lie of the Land

‘Will draw you in from the first page and keep you gripped until the very end’ Ruth Hogan, author of The Keeper of Lost Things

‘I adored Small Pleasures: you want to race on and relish every sentence at the same time’ Sabine Durrant, author of Lie With Me

1957, south-east suburbs of London.
Jean Swinney is a feature writer on a local paper, disappointed in love and – on the brink of forty – living a limited existence with her truculent mother: a small life from which there is no likelihood of escape.

When a young Swiss woman, Gretchen Tilbury, contacts the paper to claim that her daughter is the result of a virgin birth, it is down to Jean to discover whether she is a miracle or a fraud. But the more Jean investigates, the more her life becomes strangely (and not unpleasantly) intertwined with that of the Tilburys: Gretchen is now a friend, and her quirky and charming daughter Margaret a sort of surrogate child. And Jean doesn’t mean to fall in love with Gretchen’s husband, Howard, but Howard surprises her with his dry wit, his intelligence and his kindness – and when she does fall, she falls hard.

But he is married, and to her friend – who is also the subject of the story she is researching for the newspaper, a story that increasingly seems to be causing dark ripples across all their lives. And yet Jean cannot bring herself to discard the chance of finally having a taste of happiness.

But there will be a price to pay – and it will be unbearable.
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Genre: Fiction & Related Items / Historical Fiction

On Sale: 9th July 2020

Price: £14.99

ISBN-13: 9781474613880

Reviews

PRAISE FOR CLARE CHAMBERS 'Clare Chambers is a diamond in the dust' Independent on Sunday 'Clare Chambers' characters are so vivid that, by the end of the book, they feel like old friends' Daily Mail
A delicious mystery and a touching exploration of loneliness and desire in cloying 1950s suburbia - a great read.
Sally Magnusson, author of THE SEALWOMAN'S GIFT
Small Pleasures is the best sort of book: full of longing, regret and difficult emotions but leavened with so much warmth and humour it was a joy from start to finish.
Francesca Jakobi, author of BITTER
Small Pleasures is a gorgeous treat of a novel: the premise is fascinating, the characters beautifully drawn and utterly compelling, the period setting masterfully and delicately evoked, and the plot is full of unexpected twists and turns. And oh, the finale broke my heart. I just couldn't put this novel down.
Laura Barnett, #1 bestselling author of THE VERSIONS OF US
Clare Chambers is that rare thing, a novelist of discreet hilarity, deep compassion and stiletto wit whose perspicacious account of suburban lives with their quiet desperation and unexpected passion makes her the 21st century heir to Jane Austen, Barbara Pym and Elizabeth Taylor. Small Pleasures is both gripping and a huge delight. I loved what she did with the trope of the claim of a virgin birth, and how the hope of a miracle opens the door to love, kindness and hope in an arid existence. This is better than Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine and deserves just as much acclaim.
Amanda Craig, author of THE LIE OF THE LAND
Small Pleasures is a tender and heart-rending tale that will draw you in from the first page and keep you gripped until the very end. Exquisitely compelling!
Ruth Hogan, author of THE KEEPER OF LOST THINGS
I adored Small Pleasures. It's engrossing and gripping: you want to race on and relish every sentence at the same time. I love the way Clare writes - her wry, subtle turns of phrase, the humour in the smallest of observations, the finely drawn characters. A wonderful book'
Sabine Durrant, author of LIE WITH ME
The glorious literary equivalent of pulling the duvet over your head... Both an absorbing mystery and a tender love story - and the ending is devastating. Chambers is a writer who finds the truth in things. If you admire Tessa Hadley or Anne Tyler (and there are shades of Barbara Pym too), then this is one for you.
Alice O'Keefe, The Bookseller, Book of the Month