Small Pleasures Clare Chambers ( paperback)
Chambers' eye for undemonstrative details achieves a Larkin-esque lucidity' Guardian'
An almost flawlessly written tale of genuine, 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.