Instructions for a HeatwavePaperback
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- Publisher: Tinder Press
- Format: Paperback | 352 pages
- Dimensions: 130mm x 196mm x 23mm | 241g
- Publication date: 29 August 2013
- Publication City/Country: London
- ISBN 10: 0755358791
- ISBN 13: 9780755358793
- Sales rank: 7,385
A story of a dysfunctional but deeply loveable family reunited, INSTRUCTIONS FOR A HEATWAVE already feels like a contemporary classic. It was shortlisted for the 2013 Costa Novel Award. 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 with 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.
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Maggie O'Farrell is the author of six novels, AFTER YOU'D GONE, MY LOVER'S LOVER, THE DISTANCE BETWEEN US, which won a Somerset Maugham Award, THE VANISHING ACT OF ESME LENNOX, THE HAND THAT FIRST HELD MINE, which won the 2010 Costa Novel Award, and INSTRUCTIONS FOR A HEATWAVE, which was shortlisted for the 2013 Costa Novel Award. She lives in Edinburgh.
By Librarian Lavender 14 Feb 2014
When Robert Riordan disappears all of Gretta's children come home. Michael Francis, Monica and Aoife all have their own problems and Monica and Aoife have issues with each other. Gretta never says directly what she means and it takes her children a long time to figure out what she knows.
I loved this family, mostly because of their quirks. All of them have secrets and they have to come to terms with them. I couldn't wait to find out what would happen next, if something would come out, if things were going to be all right, etc. I felt like I was part of the story. Gretta and Robert are Irish and that's something that plays an important role in the book. They live in England and their children have been raised with as much of the Irish culture as possible. Gretta wants them to hang on to that, but that doesn't really happen. Everyone is disappointed with something and they are all fighting to accept themselves and one another. The story is so well written and I couldn't get enough of it. The ending was absolutely perfect as well.
The Riordans will stay in your mind long after you finish this book. They're funny, infuriating and impossible not to love. They feel like family Irish Times My favourite kind of novel: big-hearted, psychologically complex and utterly gripping -- Maria Semple, author of Where'd You Go, Bernadette Unputdownable -- Joanna Briscoe, Guardian Instantly appealing...magical Daily Telegraph Masterful...holds you on an exquisite knife-edge Marie Claire An author at the top of her game Sunday Express O'Farrell's language is lissom, airborne, mostly seamless, her characters flawed, contradictory, aggravating and instantly knowable. This is a deceptively easy, effortlessly true-feeling novel; a total delight Metro A quite wonderful novel...at once enthralling, page turning and atmospheric Irish Examiner