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Instructions for a Heatwave

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Instructions for a Heatwave by Maggie O'Farrell

Instructions For a Heatwave

Current Status:
In Season
Maggie O'Farrell

We gave it an A-

Never mind that London is sweltering through one of the most oppressive heat waves on record: in Instructions For a Heatwave, Gretta Riordan is up at dawn, oven blasting, to bake Irish soda bread while her husband of four decades, Robert, obediently sets the table for breakfast, carefully laying out the butter and jam. Then Robert leaves to get the paper…and doesn’t come back. After Gretta makes some frantic calls, her three more-or-less estranged children gather at the house — the prim, brittle Monica, caught in a bad marriage; failed history teacher Michael; and functional illiterate Aoife. The search for Robert is not half as interesting as the rich, barbed interplay among the siblings, who gibe, snap, and snipe as they go through their father’s things, slowly teasing out one another’s long-buried secrets — and a few of Gretta’s and Robert’s, too. A-