Small Pleasures

Clare Chambers

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.

2021 Shortlist

2021 Longlist

Previous winners

The Women's Prize Podcast


Tune into Yomi Adegoke and a host of inspiring guests on our weekly podcast full of book recommendations