Susan Clegg


He knew that this was as close to the sea as he could ever get.’

In 1937 Larry Lambert has a vision of a magnificent pub built on frozen fields ‘like a grassy sea’. It is an echo of a single, failed, gay encounter in a fishing boat, and in its construction he invests his energy and his thwarted dreams. He calls it The Dolphin.

And so unfolds a moving exploration of the constraining expectations of society on three generations of one family. For Larry, there is the cruel impossibility of being gay in 1930s Britain and his ensuing loveless marriage with the embittered Rosemary. For his daughter, Joanie, there is the crushing weight of duty and respectability during the post-war years. Only granddaughter Lottie pulls free and finds the freedom her grandfather and mother were denied.

Larry’s decision to build The Dolphin sparks events that play out over decades, tearing one generation apart while bringing another back together.

With artfully simple prose, Susan Clegg invites you to look beyond the surface. Insightful, understated and finely observed.

—Elise Valmorbida, award-winning author of The Madonna of the Mountains

Publication: 5th July 2023

Paperback: 978-1-7391777-4-4

Price £8.99

Digital: 978-1-7391777-5-1

Price: £5.99


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About this book

Susan Clegg has short stories published in Matter and The Stinging Fly. She was Highly Commended in the Writers & Artists Killer Fiction competition and was selected to pitch to a panel of agents and publishers at the Bloody Scotland crime writing festival. In 2020, her story, Dogwood, was shortlisted for the V. S. Pritchett Short Story prize, earning this review from Derek Owusu: ‘A story that turns the mundane into magic, sleight of hand sentences that the eyes can’t help but follow.’ The Dolphin is her debut novel and was long listed for the Mslexia prize.

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Book Type

E-Book, Paperback