Instructions for a Heatwave

  • by Maggie O'Farrell
  • Narrated by Dearbhla Molloy
  • 9 hrs and 52 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

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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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Great book, brilliant performance

I am a huge Maggie O'Farrell fan and sometimes I prefer a hard copy of my favourite books rather than an audiobook but was tempted by this. It is one of the best audio books I've ever purchased. Dearbhla Molloy's reading enhances Maggie O'Farrell's wonderful, subtle ,intuitive writing in such an engaging way that I was embarrassed to find myself shouting at, laughing with and crying at the dilemmas and disasters of this family as I listened to it on the tube. Only Maggie O'Farrell can write with such well observed realism and yet with such hopeful compassion. Only this reader, I suggest, could have done such a brilliant job of bringing these characters to even more complicated and vibrant life. I can't recommend this too highly.
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- ronx59

Perfect summer reading!

Would you try another book written by Maggie O'Farrell or narrated by Dearbhla Molloy?

I have read all of Maggies O' Farrell's novels and found this one quite different in style and plot but it was nevertheless a good read.


What does Dearbhla Molloy bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

As most of the characters are Irish the narrator's accent gave a genuine feel to the book though I found it irritating at times.


Was Instructions for a Heatwave worth the listening time?

Not the best of her books and in particular I was not drawn to any of characters which makes it hard to sustain interest in the plot unlike her other novels which I struggled to put down.


Any additional comments?

Fascinating information about the way Londoners dealt with the 1976 heat wave !

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- Fiona

Book Details

  • Release Date: 28-02-2013
  • Publisher: Headline Digital