Instructions for a heatwave by Maggie O’Farrell – review

Instructions for a heatwaveInstructions for a heatwave by Maggie O’Farell

This novel is all about family relationship, not much in the way of plot but all about how three adult children, no longer living together react when their elderly father walks out of the house and disappears without trace.

The novel is set in the heatwave of July 1976. It hasn’t rained for months, and Robert Riordan tells his wife Gretta that he’s going round the corner to buy a newspaper. He doesn’t come back and the search for Robert brings Gretta’s 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. None of them suspects that their mother might have an explanation that even now she cannot share.

When the story is set may well have affected the  behaviour but they have very different characters and the author has brought them to life vividly, making it an enjoyable read.