Tinder Press £7.99
Paperback review: Instructions for a Heatwave, By Maggie O'Farrell
Truth bubbles up in slow-burner that's set in a long, hot summer
Saturday 31 August 2013
Maggie O'Farrell's latest novel is set in London during the heatwave of 1976.
One sweltering morning Robert Riordan tells his wife, Gretta, that he is popping out to buy a newspaper – and doesn't come back. When he is sighted in Ireland, Gretta and their children – a son whose marriage is sliding towards divorce and two daughters who haven't spoken since a previous family tragedy – put aside their differences and head off to find him. In a heatwave, the narrator observes, people "act not so much out of character but deep within it", behaving unguardedly. In O'Farrell's slow-burning but beautifully observed study of family relationships, secrets and uncomfortable truths bubble to the surface.
To mark Tolstoy's 186th birthdaybooks
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Amy Winehouse statue unveiled in Camden
- 2 Lego breaks out of the toy box and heads for the gallery
- 3 George Galloway on Scottish independence: The political class is doing what Hitler couldn’t – destroying Britain
- 4 Headaches, fry ups, and hair of the dog - why do we get hangovers, and is there such thing as a 'cure'?
- 5 A bottle of wine a day is not bad for you and abstaining is worse than drinking, scientist claims
George Galloway on Scottish independence: The political class is doing what Hitler couldn’t – destroying Britain
Daniele Watts: Django Unchained actress detained in Los Angeles after being mistaken for a prostitute
Scottish independence: Nationalist leader Jim Sillars threatens pro-union companies with 'day of reckoning' after independence
Scottish independence: Yes campaign feels the heat as Alex Salmond's NHS claims come under furious attack
Scottish independence: Britain faces 'constitutional crisis' at next election
£23m Birmingham cycle scheme is attacked by Tory councillor for not catering to the elderly