A novel of unexpected second chances set in 1950s England.
'A WORD-OF-MOUTH HIT' Evening Standard
'Perfect' India Knight
'Beautiful' Jessie Burton
'Wonderful' Richard Osman
'Miraculous' Tracy Chevalier
'A very fine novel... Witty and sharp' David Nicholls
'Every sentence lingers in the mind' Lissa Evans
'One of the most beautiful books I have ever read' Lucy Mangan
'Gorgeous... I could not recommend it more' Pandora Sykes
'Remarkable... Small Pleasures is no small pleasure' The Times
'Irresistible... Wry, perceptive and quietly devastating' Mail on Sunday
'Chambers' eye for undemonstrative details achieves a Larkin-esque lucidity' Guardian
'An almost flawlessly written tale of grown-up romantic anguish' The Sunday Times
1957, the suburbs of South East London. Jean Swinney is a journalist on a local paper, trapped in a life of duty and disappointment from which there is no likelihood of escape.
When a young 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.
As the investigation turns her quiet life inside out, Jean is suddenly given an unexpected chance at friendship, love and - possibly - happiness.
But there will, inevitably, be a price to pay.
An almost flawlessly written tale of genuine, grown-up romantic anguish. Written in prose that is clipped as closely as suburban hedges. - THE SUNDAY TIMES
No twee romance, but a quietly compelling novel of duty and desire. - SUNDAY TELEGRAPH
So good it made me want to read her entire backlist! - PRIMA
Beautiful... Small Pleasures is a sort of meditation on finding moments of joy (a solo cigarette, a melting ice-cream) in a context of wider sadness. - Emma Beddington in the Observer Magazine
Clare Chamber's first job after reading English Literature at Hertford College, Oxford, was working for Diana Athill at Andre Deutsch. Clare's first novel UNCERTAIN TERMS was published by Diana at Andre Deutsch in 1992 and she is the author of five other novels.
SMALL PLEASURES is her first work of fiction in ten years.