Instructions for a Heatwave: October 2013 Book of the Month

If you're still loath to let go of summer, our October Book of the Month keeps the temperature high.Instructions for a Heatwave cover

Maggie O'Farrell's bestseller, Instructions for a Heatwave, is set in London, July 1976. The Riordans are an Irish couple with three grown-up children, and as they sit sweltering in their kitchen, 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 the 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. Their mother harbours a suspicion that she cannot share, while the black sheep of the family, Aoife, battles with the undiagnosed dyslexia that has dominated her life.

This is a book all about how families bump up against one another, but don't actually talk. Secrets and resentments and rivalries simmer underneath the stultifyingly hot weather.

As always, O'Farrell captures daily life with acute observation and empathy while sustaining a gradual suspense that reveals secret histories. This is another entrancing and beautifully paced novel from a truly excellent storyteller. 


About Maggie O'Farrell

Maggie O'FarrellMaggie O'Farrell was born in Northern Ireland in 1972, and grew up in Wales and Scotland. She was a literary critic for The Independent before writing her debut, After You'd Gone, to huge acclaim and success. Her third novel, The Distance Between Us, won the Somerset Maugham Award and in 2010 she won the Costa Novel Award with The Hand That First Held Mine. She lives in Edinburgh with her family and is a regular Mumsnetter - you can read Maggie's 2011 Bookclub webchat here.

For more background, watch a video interview with Maggie on the Tinder Press website, as well as reading reviews and Q&As on all her previous novels. And check out Maggie's own website too.


Join our book club discussion with Maggie O'Farrell on Wednesday 23 October

We are thrilled Maggie will be joining us and answering questions about Instructions for a Heatwave, her writing career and her previous novels on Wednesday 23 October.

So please feel free to discuss the book here throughout the month, pop up any advance questions and then come and chat to Maggie live on Wed 23 Oct.

Tinder Press have 50 copies to give to Mumsnetters - to claim yours please fill in your details below. We'll post on the thread when all the copies have gone.

This giveaway has now closed. If you weren't lucky enough to receive a copy, you can always buy a paperback or Kindle version.

Last updated: about 3 years ago