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Instructions for a Heatwave

written by Maggie O'Farrell

Headline Review | ISBN 9780755358793

Paperback – 352 pages


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I loved Maggie O’Farrell’s previous book, The Hand that First Held Mine. Her new book is just as captivating. It follows an Irish family thrown into a domestic crisis during a London heatwave in 1976. O’Farrell depicts the nuance of negotiating identity within the family dynamic with razor-sharp insight. The family history gradually unfolds, and with it our empathy for the three siblings at the heart of the drama. Unputdownable.

By Julie Crawford

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.

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