Book Group: March bonus book - Instructions for a Heatwave by Maggie O'Farrell

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Jul 2018
7:03pm, 2 Jul 2018
28,659 posts
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I finished this today, and have mixed feelings about it. I liked it well enough, but it didn’t excite, or enthuse, or move me at any point. Somehow Aoife’s life in New York, working at what I suspect is meant to be CeeBeeGeeBers, and then for the illustrious photographer, is not believable.

The scene on the beach where a Michael thinks Clare is going to tell him she’s slept with someone in retaliation annoyed me, would anyone really have thought that when it was clear she wanted their relationship to end, even if she tries to frame it as if she’s setting him free and doing him a favour.

However, there were a lot of domestic situations that ran true. O’Farrell captures the family dynamics well. I think she is better at dialogue than exposition. Many of the descriptions were overworked, like she was trying to hard.

The book did have a gentle charm, but I didn’t get much out of it. 6/10

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