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Learning To Swim


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A modern Brideshead Revisited set in the perfectly portrayed microcosm of the London suburbs, this coming of age novel won the 1999 Parker Romantic Novel of the Year award. A must-read book from the author of In a Good Light, perfect for fans of bestselling authors Kate Atkinson and Katie Fforde.

About the Author

Clare Chambers was born in south east London in 1966. She studied English at Oxford and spent the year after graduating in New Zealand, where she wrote her first novel, Uncertain Terms, published when she was 25. She has since written eight further novels, including Learning to Swim (Century 1998) which won the Romantic Novelists' Association best novel award and was adapted as a Radio 4 play, and In a Good Light (Century 2004) which was longlisted for the Whitbread best novel prize. Clare began her career as a secretary at the publisher Andre Deutsch, when Diana Athill was still at the helm. They not only published her first novel, but made her type her own contract. In due course she went on to become a fiction and non-fiction editor there herself, until leaving to raise a family and concentrate on her own writing. Some of the experiences of working for an eccentric, independent publisher in the pre-digital era found their way into her novel The Editor's Wife (Century, 2007). When her three children were teenagers, inspired by their reading habits, she produced two YA novels, Bright Girls (HarperCollins 2009) and Burning Secrets (HarperCollins 2011). Her most recent novel is Small Pleasures (Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 2020). She takes up a post as Royal Literary Fund Fellow at the University of Kent in September 2020.


"An intelligent and escapist read - well written and funny" Daily Express "Modern, intelligently observed and highly original" Daily Mail "A spirited account of growing up and falling in love" Good Housekeeping "This delicious novel - is a joy from beginning to end - a perfect novel" Lisa Jewell "Engagingly written" Prima

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