BookBrowse Reviews Instructions for a Heatwave by Maggie O'Farrell

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reading Guide |  Reviews |  Beyond the book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

Instructions for a Heatwave

By Maggie O'Farrell

Instructions for a Heatwave
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • Hardcover: Jun 2013,
    304 pages.
    Paperback: May 2014,
    304 pages.

    Publication Information

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
Sarah Sacha Dollacker

Buy This Book

About this Book

Reviews

In Instructions for a Heatwave, a crisis forces a family's members to evaluate their interpersonal ties.

Maggie O'Farrell's novel Instructions for a Heatwave investigates family, lies, and the ways they intertwine. One morning, during England's record-breaking 1976 heat wave, Gretta Riordan sees her husband Robert off for his errands as she does most mornings since he retired. He does not return that day or the next. There is little preparation for his disappearance and the family is thrown into turmoil. Gretta and Robert's three children - Michael Francis, Monica, and Aoife (pronounced Ee-fuh) - are in their own tumultuous states and no one is prepared to search for Robert. Each of the siblings harbors a secret, and all of them struggle with the burden of being raised by Catholic parents with strict moral rules.

Michael Francis wonders if his wife Claire still loves him. His job as a high school history teacher is unfulfilling and a disappointment after his great plans of moving to ...

Members Only

BookBrowse's reviews and backstories are a members-only benefit. Full information is available on books for a limited time when they are featured as "Editor's Choices" - but that time has now elapsed for this book.

Find Out More

Beyond the Book:
  The Heatwave of 1976

Member Benefits

Join Now!

Check the advantages!
Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year

    •  
    • FREE
    • MEMBER
    • Range of media reviews for each book
    • Excerpts of all featured books
    • Author bios, interviews and pronunciations
    • Browse by genre
    • Book club discussions
    • Book club advice and reading guides
    • BookBrowse reviews and "beyond the book" back-stories
    •  
    • Reviews of notable books ahead of publication
    •  
    • Free books to read and review (US Only)
    •  
    • Browse for the best books by time period, setting & theme
    •  
    • Read-alike suggestions for thousands of books and authors
    •  
    • 'My Reading List" to keep track of your books
    •  
Sign up, win books!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket
    The Valley of Amazement
    by Amy Tan
    "Mirror, Mirror on the wall
    I am my mother after all!"


    In my pre-retirement days as a professor ...
  • Book Jacket: A Man Called Ove
    A Man Called Ove
    by Fredrik Backman
    Reading A Man Called Ove was like having Christmas arrive early. Set in Sweden, this debut novel is ...
  • Book Jacket
    The Search
    by Geoff Dyer
    All hail the independent publisher! In May 2014, Graywolf Press brought two of long-revered British ...

First Impressions

Members read and review books ahead
of publication. See what they think
in First Impressions!

Books that
expand your
horizons.

Visitors can view a lot of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only

Find out more.

Book Discussions
Book Jacket

The Arsonist
by Sue Miller

Published Jun. 2014

Join the discussion!

  1.  129Tomlinson Hill:
    Chris Tomlinson

All Discussions

Win this book!
Win The Angel of Losses

The Angel of Losses

"Family saga, mystery, and myth intersect in Feldman's debut novel." - Booklist

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

E C H A Silver L

and be entered to win..

Books thatinspire you.Handpicked.

Books you'll stay up all night reading; books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, books that will expand your mind and inspire you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.