Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Instructions for a Heat Wave by Maggie O'Farrell

Maggie O'Farrell is the author of After You'd Gone, My Lovers Lover, The Distance Between Us, The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox and The Hand That First Held Mine, all of which have won literary awards.
Instructions for a Heat Wave is the first book of O'Farrell's that I have read....won't be the last. This is
the type of book you can't put down once you have started it.
In 1976, London is suffering a terrible heat wave and drought. Gretta Riordon a married woman, mother of three grown children, grandmother to two sees her husband off to the "news agent" one hot morning not unlike any other morning since he retired. Expecting him back after he picks up his morning papers, she continues with her usual morning routine. Except this morning is quite different from years of other mornings... her husband Robert, does not return.
As her three kids make their way back home to search for their father, one from America(Aiofe), one from the country (Monica)and one from down the road (Michael),  the search for the missing father almost takes a backseat to all the unfinished business between parents and siblings.
Now I know I have mentioned that one of my pet peeves is when a writer will use a name that is not easily pronounced, or one that I stumble over every time I read it. So when I came across the name Aiofe, I said why oh why Maggie, did you throw in a curve ball? As the story progressed I was very interested to see that the pronunciation of that name was woven into the story. I have yet to truly figure out what the meaning of this was (other than her character was the story's most memorable, to me) , but eventually I could read the name with out a hitch:)
This is a story of growing up and how great and how difficult it can be, especially when there are secrets that shadow all the members of a family.
Loved her style of writing, loved the flow of the book...thank you author O'Farrell for this GREAT summer read :)
This book will be on the book shelves next month!!

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