Instructions for A Heatwave

Instructions for A Heatwave

Book - 2013
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Sophisticated, intelligent, impossible to put down, Maggie O'Farrell's beguiling novels-- After You'd Gone, winner of a Betty Trask Award; The Distance Between Us, winner of a Somerset Maugham Award; The Hand That First Held Mine, winner of the Costa Novel Award; and her unforgettable bestseller The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox --blend richly textured psychological drama with page-turning suspense. Instructions for a Heatwave finds her at the top of her game, with a novel about a family crisis set during the legendary British heatwave of 1976.

Gretta Riordan wakes on a stultifying July morning to find that her husband of forty years has gone to get the paper and vanished, cleaning out his bank account along the way. Gretta's three grown children converge on their parents' home for the first time in years: Michael Francis, a history teacher whose marriage is failing; Monica, with two stepdaughters who despise her and a blighted past that has driven away the younger sister she once adored; and Aoife, the youngest, now living in Manhattan, a smart, immensely resourceful young woman who has arranged her entire life to conceal a devastating secret.

Maggie O'Farrell writes with exceptional grace and sensitivity about marriage, about the mysteries that inhere within families, and the fault lines over which we build our lives--the secrets we hide from the people who know and love us best. In a novel that stretches from the heart of London to New York City's Upper West Side to a remote village on the coast of Ireland, O'Farrell paints a bracing portrait of a family falling apart and coming together with hard-won, life-changing truths about who they really are. 

Publisher: New York : Knopf, c2013.
ISBN: 9780385349406
Characteristics: 289 p. ; 25 cm.


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CRRL_MegRaymond Jul 25, 2017

When Gretta’s husband leaves home and doesn’t come back, she calls her three adult children home to help. They arrive to a record-breaking heatwave, and no idea how to find their dad.

Jan 27, 2017

Another enjoyable read by Maggie O'Farrell. Set within a dysfunctional Irish family who must come together after the disappearance of their husband/father.

Aug 21, 2015

If you enjoy Irish families bickering,(I don't), this is the book for you. Some sex and bad languaage. I would rate it M for mature.

Apr 01, 2015

Good beginning, slow middle, very good revelation. Familiar family issues in good setting spiced with some mystery. Enjoyable read.

Aug 20, 2014

Set during the UK drought of 1976, a father's disappearance brings together his estranged children. Although there is a mystery, which is resolved in Connemara, the novel is about family relationships. The mother is particularly well portrayed. A little disappointing compared to O'Farrell's other novels.

Gail49 Aug 05, 2014

bas bleu

loveablelibrarian Apr 23, 2014

A really smooth read full of interesting characters and intriguing setting. Recommended!

madison382 Mar 16, 2014

Really enjoyed her style of writing.

Jan 17, 2014

A family comes together in the face of a crisis despite their own personal turmoils. Funny and sweet. Abrupt ending but an enjoyable read.

Dec 21, 2013

I love Maggie O'Farrell's work and this was no exception. A bit different to her other works in that it has a somewhat unresolved ending compared to her other novels. This novel is more character-driven than plot driven, so perhaps that is why.

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