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.
"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)
"A word-of-mouth hit." (Evening Standard)