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Heyzeus I have read some crap lately.

You may have guessed that from my previous post ‘Don’t go for the free books, there’s a reason they’re free‘, but to quickly recap, I went away on holiday (you can also read about my cruise to The Baltics if you like) and downloaded a load of free and cheaper books onto my Kindle to keep me going, but couldn’t get to the end of a single one because of the poor writing quality.

I know I can’t complain, it’s free, what should I have expected really, but they were terrible. Terrible! I eventually began audibly sighing at missing words and overly complicated sentences. Doing that on a blog is one thing, but doing that on something you are hoping people will one day pay for, once it’s built up a fan base, is inexcusable.

Because of this, I didn’t want to read anything I had on my Kindle, so I gave up trying. And, frankly, once I was back home, I was ready to give up on reading altogether again. But I didn’t. I picked up a book from my tbr pile and reluctantly opened the first page. Side note: as well as getting cheap books on Kindle, I’m also partial to a good looking cover and have been burnt more than once through this too, so I was extremely wary of starting another stinker.

I am pleased to say, Maggie O’Farrell’s Instructions for a Heatwave, was one easy read. It flowed, made sense and I could get to know the characters.

Now, I’m not going to lie, not a lot really happens in this book, but sometimes that is what you need in a story – just a good old fashioned nosy into the lives of one family as they’re going through a bit of a hard time.

Set mainly in England in 1976, during the year of the unimaginable heatwave, we follow the Riordans: Gretta (mum), Michael Francis (son), Monica (daughter one) and Aoife (daugher two) as they come together to search for Robert (dad) after he disappears from the family home.

Michael Francis, Monica and Aoife are all grown up living their very-separate lives but find themselves back in their old bedrooms in the house they grew up in, determined to not let the disappearance of their father get in the way of family fueds.

A family filled with strong personalities, short fuses, heatwaves, and a difficult mother to contend with, the Riordan children are going to have put their differences aside to figure out this mystery if they ever want to get back to their normal lives.

To me, these characters felt real. Their attitudes, the way they spoke, their back stories, everything else that was going on in their lives; they felt three dimensional, I could see them and hear them clearly. It really was a pleasure to read.

Like I said, not a whole lot really happens, but that’s not the point with this story. It grips you, but you don’t know why. And that shows an amazing story-telling ability to me.

If you want something that’s easy to read and get lost in, then I would highly recommend you give Maggie O’Farrell’s Instructions for a Heatwave a try.

Have you read this? What were your thoughts?

Up next to read: Bridget Jones, Mad About the Boy by Helen Fielding (I cannot tell you how super excited I am for the new Bridget Jones film coming out in September. I’m sad that I have to wait that long really, but I also saw an advert for the new series of The Great British Bake Off the other day so know that that won’t be far away. That’ll keep me entertained until Ms Jones hits the big screen.)

Until next time. x

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