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    Description

    1957, South-East suburbs of London.

    Jean Swinney is a feature writer on a local paper, disappointed in love and - on the brink of 40 - 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.

    ©2020 Clare Chambers (P)2020 Orion Publishing Group

    Commentaires

    "The 21st century heir to Jane Austen, Barbara Pym and Elizabeth Taylor. Small Pleasures is both gripping and a huge delight." (Amanda Craig, author of The Lie of the Land) 

    "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) 

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