‘Small Pleasures’ by Clare Chambers

Nearly forty, Jean Swinney is a journalist on a local paper working in the suburbs of south-east London in 1957. Trapped in a life of duty, looking after her aging mother, she is discontent and not hopeful of any change. A young woman responds to a Christmas article about the possibility of virgin birth, claiming to have conceived whilst bedridden in hospital. It’s up to Jean to investigate and discover the truth. This story leads her to find friendship, belonging and the possibility of love. Chambers writes in a very measured way with sharp touches of humour. Descriptions of life in post war Britain, the food and fashion as well as the attitudes and outlooks, give an accurate depiction next to an incredulous story.

Published by W&N  ISBN 147461390X

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