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Download Instructions for a Heatwave Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Instructions for a Heatwave, by Maggie O’Farrell Click for printable size audiobook cover
0 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 5 0.00 (0 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Maggie O’Farrell Narrator: John Lee Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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A sweeping family drama, in which the disappearance of a family patriarch forces three adult siblings to gather together to find him and to confront what they really know about their father and themselves.

It’s the summer of 1976 and London is in the grip of a record-breaking heatwave when Gretta Riordan discovers that her newly retired husband, Robert, has cleaned out his bank account and vanished. Now, Gretta’s three children converge in their mother’s home for the first time in years: Michael Francis, a history teacher whose marriage is failing; Monica, with two stepdaughters who despise her and an ugly secret that has driven a wedge between herself and the little sister she once adored; and Aoife, the youngest of the Riordans, now living in Manhattan, a smart, immensely resourceful young woman who has arranged her entire life to conceal her illiteracy.

As the siblings tease out clues about their father’s whereabouts, they navigate rocky pasts and long-held secrets, until at last their search brings them to their ancestral village in Ireland, where the truth of their parents’ lives—and their own—is suddenly revealed. Wise, lyrical, instantly engrossing, Instructions for a Heatwave is a richly satisfying page-turner from a writer of exceptional intelligence and grace.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Acutely observed…revelatory, redemptive, and moving…There is a deliciousness to this novel, a warmth and readability that render it unputdownable and will surely make it a hit. O’Farrell has done it again.”


  • “A literary event…evocative, articulate, and joyously readable…O’Farrell’s talent for drawing intriguing but relatable characters is eclipsed only by a rare gift for description that is almost photographic in its imagery…An author at the top of her game.”

    Sunday Express

  • “Humorous, humane, and perceptive…O’Farrell depicts relationships with piercing acuity in haunting, intense prose…a deliciously insightful writer…Her sharp but humane eye dissects every form of human interaction.”

    Independent on Sunday

  • “Elegant, lyrical, and subtle…O’Farell’s a compassionate writer, showing us every member of the family from a variety of viewpoints, ensuring that we understand and feel for every one of them even as they drive each other mad…The Riordans will stay in your mind long after you finish reading this book. They’re funny, infuriating, and impossible not to love. They feel like family.”

    Irish Times

  • “Thoroughly absorbing and beautifully written…A novel about what we say and what other people hear; about families; what we don’t tell each other and what we do; the compromises and accommodations we make; and what happens when we build our lives around half-truths.”

    Daily Mail

  • “A ripping yarn…A brilliant domestic drama that teeters on the edge of being a thriller; it’ll hook you in at the start and keep you dangling.”

    Evening Standard

  • “O’Farrell is adept at creating pace out of the intricacies of family relations. She keeps the gas up on the Bunsen burner throughout…I felt that I gobbled this book.”


  • “Farrell’s language is lissome, airborne, mostly seamless, her characters flawed, contradictory, aggravating and instantly knowable. This is a deceptively easy, effortlessly true-feeling novel; a total delight.”


  • “O’Farrell is hard to beat. Anyone looking for a British equivalent of Anne Tyler need look no further.”


  • “A surprising, beautiful novel, full of the intricacies of family life…You’ll find yourself wanting to devour it in one sitting.”

    Fabulous Magazine

  • “O’Farrell should be a household name.”

    Library Journal

  • Selected for the July 2013 Indie Next List
  • Winner of the AudioFile Earphones Award, September 2013
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