Small Pleasures

Small Pleasures

by

, x-dropped-star-ending, read-on-kindle, country-england, womens-prize-nominee, read-2021, 2021-fave-fiction-reads, 2021, netgalley-arcs, standalone, netgalley, fiction, owned, netgalley, contemporary, Fiction, Historical, Romance, Contemporary, LGBT, Literary Fiction, Mystery, Adult, Audiobook

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.

Title:Small Pleasures
Edition Language:English
ISBN:9781474613880
Format Type:

    Small Pleasures Reviews

  • Jack Edwards

    Such a tender, beautiful, and light novel... until the end. Small Pleasures had the most absurd (and unnecessary??) ending to a book I’ve ever read — it was almost as if the final chapter belonged...

  • Lotte

    Ahh, this would've easily been a 5-star-read if it hadn't been for the ending. ...

  • Eric Anderson

    If you hate the ending of a novel after really enjoying the majority of the story is it still a successful reading experience? It's a tricky question and one I've been left pondering after finishing ...

  • Blair

    Set in 1957, Small Pleasures tells the story of Jean, who works at a local newspaper – the North Kent Echo – as 'features editor, columnist, dogsbody and the only woman at the table'. She receives...

  • Claire Fuller

    Not my usual kind of fiction, but I enjoyed it. I liked the period details (it's set in 1957), and the fine observations of suburban life. It was a real comfort read: a mystery, a love affair, and a b...

  • Jessie Lewis

    The writing in this book is measured, delivering a feeling of meandering prosaicness that evokes the lives depicted within, and is therefore very effective. The language is clever without being preten...

  • Anne

    It is many many years since I last read a novel by Clare Chambers, it's a long time since she published a book, and as soon as this arrived, I felt a surge of excitement. I love her writing, I think s...

  • Peter Boyle

    Jean Swinney lives quite an uncomplicated life. It's the 1950s and she works as a journalist on the North Kent Echo, writing a weekly column that provides household tips. Now in her late thirties, she...

  • Hugh

    Longlisted for the Women's Prize 2021This is the third of the seven books I decided to read following the announcement of the Women's Prize longlist, and the most enjoyable of the three. Its setting i...

  • All My Friends  Are Fictional

    The novel started to drag a lot from the middle. It also didn't sit right with me that it low-key villainizes queer people. The lesbian relationship felt like an afterthought and solely serves the plo...