The stunning new novel from Costa-Novel-Award-winning novelist Maggie O'Farrell: a portrait of an Irish family in crisis in the legendary heatwave of 1976.
It's July 1976. In London, it hasn't rained for months, gardens are filled with aphids, water comes from a standpipe, and Robert Riordan tells his wife Gretta that he's going round the corner to buy a newspaper. He doesn't come back.
The search for Robert brings Gretta's children - two estranged sisters and a brother on the brink of divorce - back home, each wih different ideas as to where their father might have gone. None of them suspects that their mother might have an explanation that even now she cannot share.
©2013 Maggie O'Farrell (P)2013 Headline Digital
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"Great book, brilliant performance"
I am a huge Maggie O'Farrell fan and sometimes I prefer a hard copy of my favourite books rather than an audiobook but was tempted by this. It is one of the best audio books I've ever purchased. Dearbhla Molloy's reading enhances Maggie O'Farrell's wonderful, subtle ,intuitive writing in such an engaging way that I was embarrassed to find myself shouting at, laughing with and crying at the dilemmas and disasters of this family as I listened to it on the tube. Only Maggie O'Farrell can write with such well observed realism and yet with such hopeful compassion. Only this reader, I suggest, could have done such a brilliant job of bringing these characters to even more complicated and vibrant life. I can't recommend this too highly.
"Perfect summer reading!"
I have read all of Maggies O' Farrell's novels and found this one quite different in style and plot but it was nevertheless a good read.
As most of the characters are Irish the narrator's accent gave a genuine feel to the book though I found it irritating at times.
Not the best of her books and in particular I was not drawn to any of characters which makes it hard to sustain interest in the plot unlike her other novels which I struggled to put down.
Fascinating information about the way Londoners dealt with the 1976 heat wave !
"Delightful book, beautifully read."
I absolutely loved this book. I've read all Maggie O'Farrell's previous books and enjoyed them. I was nervous that the narrator might spoil it for me, but Dearbhla Molloy did such a good job, that I didn't want the book to finish.
I love Maggie O'Farrell books, and her latest didn't disappoint.
I really enjoyed Instructions for a Heatwave. It's beautifully written and the characters are believable.
"Loved this book"
Yes because of the fantastically realistic narration that really managed to capture each charachter's personality.
No but I would do going forward, she is very talented.
I really enjoted this book - great story but also fantastic narration that really brought the charachters to life. I really was sad when it ended as I wanted to know what happened next to all of the family members and was sad to say goodbye - would highly recommend.
This was a really enjoyable book, not to be ranked amongst the classics but a real page turner that made you want to get to the end. A light read but quite different with all the family members with their miriad of emotional problems. It had a realistic storyline and anyone who was about during the summer of 1976 will comprehend the sheer monotony of every day living in the heat. The narrator was superb and has such a likeable tone that the whole story ran along very smoothly.
Probably when Eefa started hoarding the contracts into the blue folder as if she was an ostritch, never knowing if the problem would be resolved and if it was what the outcome would be. I was startled that no-one had identified the nature of her problem, (even in 1976) but was quite amazed that she was able to continue such a productive lifestyle with this hiden secret. I felt for her as I once worked with someone just like her.
I enjoyed Greta at the convent. It was written with great empathy, yet almost had a touch of humour because of the circumstances of her being there..
Maggie O'Farrell has a great talent for making characters come alive and even those with unfortunate traits sit well with the narrative from beginning to end.
Maggie o Farrell is a brilliant observer of family dynamics . I felt I was in that room , walking alongside & included in their life . This is my
3rd o'farrel books & ive just downloaded another . They are all v different . The narration was second to none ,it's a shame Dearbhla Malloy isnt listed to have narrated more books .
A story of many layers. Expertly told and beautifully read. A gem of a tale.
The story jumped about too much from current time to past situations, quite confusing really.
I uncharacteristically listened to this beautifully written book in two days. This is one of the best audio books I've purchased I loved every minute.
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