LONGLISTED FOR THE WOMEN'S PRIZE FOR FICTION 2021
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.
'A WORD-OF-MOUTH HIT' Evening Standard
'A very fine book... It's witty and sharp and reads like something by Barbara Pym or Anita Brookner, without ever feeling like a pastiche' David Nicholls
'Perfect' India Knight
'Beautiful' Jessie Burton
'Wonderful' Richard Osman
'Miraculous' Tracy Chevalier
'A wonderful novel. I loved it' Nina Stibbe
'Effortless to read, but every sentence lingers in the mind' Lissa Evans
'This is one of the most beautiful books I have ever read. I honestly don't want you to be without it' Lucy Mangan
'Gorgeous... If you're looking for something escapist and bittersweet, I could not recommend more' Pandora Sykes
'Remarkable... Small Pleasures is no small pleasure' The Times
'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