A story of a dysfunctional but deeply loveable family reunited, INSTRUCTIONS FOR A HEATWAVE already feels like a contemporary classic. It was shortlisted for the 2013 Costa Novel Award. 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 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.
Maggie O'Farrell is the author of six novels, AFTER YOU'D GONE, MY LOVER'S LOVER, THE DISTANCE BETWEEN US, which won a Somerset Maugham Award, THE VANISHING ACT OF ESME LENNOX, THE HAND THAT FIRST HELD MINE, which won the 2010 Costa Novel Award, and INSTRUCTIONS FOR A HEATWAVE, which was shortlisted for the 2013 Costa Novel Award. She lives in Edinburgh.