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Clare Chambers Books In Order

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Publication Order of Standalone Novels

Uncertain Terms (1993)Description / Buy at Amazon
Back Trouble (1994)Description / Buy at Amazon
Learning To Swim (1998)Description / Buy at Amazon
A Dry Spell (2000)Description / Buy at Amazon
In A Good Light (2004)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Editor's Wife (2007)Description / Buy at Amazon
Bright Girls (2009)Description / Buy at Amazon
Burning Secrets (2011)Description / Buy at Amazon
Small Pleasures (2021)Description / Buy at Amazon

Clare Chambers is an English author best known for writing Small Pleasures and Learning to Swim. She won the Romantic Novel of the Year Award by the Romantic Novelists’ Association in 1999 for Learning to Swim.

She was born in 1966 in in Croydon, Surrey, England. Her parents were both English teachers who instilled reading and writing into her at a young age. When she was only sixteen, she met her future husband Peter. She would go on to read at Oxford. After their marriage, the two moved to New Zealand where she was able to write her first novel, Uncertain Terms, which was released in 1992.

Uncertain Terms was the debut novel by Chamber. The story follows four people, Alison, Charlotte, and Tyrone, reading English in their last year at Oxford and another, Patrick, who is working towards a doctorate. Patrick is finding it hard to work on his thesis about French puppet theatre which his tutor is quick to notice. While Tyrone deals with the death of a close friend which has caused him to sleepwalk and have nightmares. While Alison has started a relationship with her tutor, Oliver, who has recently become separated from his wife. Before she knows it, she is engaged to marry him. Finally, there is Charlotte who has been trying to escape her lower-middle-class parents, but doing so makes her feel guilty. The story also features numerous strong secondary characters who are worthy of their own novels.

Learning to Swim is Chambers’ Romantic Novel of the Year Award book. The story follows Abigail Jax as she sees the Radleys again. She never thought that she would see this family of extraordinary, captivating creatures that she was drawn to as a child when she became best friends with Frances. She met her headstrong mother Lexi and the brilliant and beautiful Rad. A catastrophe tore them apart all those years ago, but now a chance encounter will bring her right back to them.

Small Pleasures is another popular book by Clare Chambers. It was longlisted for the Women’s Prize for Fiction 2021. The story takes place in the suburbs of South East London in 1957. Jean Swinney works at a local paper as a journalist, but finds herself trapped in a life of duty and disappointment. She fears that there is no escape from it. Then a young woman named Gretchen Tilbury contacts the paper with a claim that she has given birth to a daughter and that she was the result of a virgin birth. Now, Jean must investigate to find out whether Gretchen is telling the truth or if she is a fraud. The investigation will turn Jean’s life upside-down and surprisingly gives her a chance at friendship, love, and happiness. Of course, there is always a price to pay for such things.

A Dry Spell follows four students who took a trip to the desert back in 1976. That summer ended up being a fateful one in their lives and now it is coming back to haunt them. Guy doesn’t need the repercussions to come back to haunt him right now while his wife Jane is becoming more and more peculiar with their three-year-old daughter set to destroy her mother’s sanity. Nina is having her own troubles with her son, James, who has a new girlfriend and an apparent drug problem. Nina is not looking for any ghosts from the past and life isn’t going well for any of them. Hugo is threatening to pay them all a visit which means that disaster might be unavoidable.

Chambers is also the author of In A Good Light. In this book, Esther Fairchild lives with her brother, Christian, and is finding her life becoming a routine. She illustrates children’s books, works as a waitress, and has scheduled visits with both her father and her married lover. Then one day she sees a face in the crowd which knocks her out of her mundane existence and makes her question a lot of the the choices she has made in her life. Now, memories that she had forgotten are beginning to resurface. She remembers growing up in a large, shabby house where children often had to fend for themselves. Donovan made his way into this world as well as Penny, Christian’s girlfriend and Esther’s idol. Tragedy struck which shattered their joint existence, but now their lives are about to become intertwined once again.

The Editor’s Wife features an aspiring novelist named Christopher Finders who leaves university to write his masterpiece. His family doubts his decision, but then he is taken up by London editor Owen Goddard and his charming wife Diana. He starts to believe that success is right around the corner. He’s not had much success in life to this point with an unlovely upbringing in and unambitious parents, but he finds himself captivated by these mentors. He’s so close to realizing his dream when he makes a mistake that cost him everything. He ends up leaving London and moving on to a mediocre life in Yorkshire. Twenty years later, a young academic that is looking into Goddard seeks him out which leads Christopher looking back at his past and a discovery that could change everything.

Chambers is also the author of Bright Girls. A fifteen-year-old named Robyn is considered to be the sensible one in her family while Rachel is anything but sensible. The two head to spend the summer with their Aunt Jackie who runs a ballgown hire business from her home. The girls will help with the business while also making new friends along the way.

Burning Secrets is a thrilling teen mystery by Clare Chambers. Daniel is a boy with a dark and troubled past. He’s looking to get a second chance when his family moves to the island of Wraggle. However, things are different in Wraggle and outsiders aren’t always welcome. Daniel tries to coneal his past, but along the way he finds out about sinister going ons in the town.

Book Series In Order » Authors » Clare Chambers

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