What a joy it is to come across beautiful writing. Everything about Instructions for a Heatwave is exquisite. The sentence structure, the lack of superfluous words, the stunning detailed descriptions, it is all part of a beauty that leaves your heart hurting and your eyes a bit teary without quite knowing why. Below, a description from the book about the love that can exist between a person and a city.
She misses London. She misses it the way she missed Joe. A strange, cramped pain that leaves her almost unable to speak. She has never lived anywhere else until now. She hadn’t really known that people lived anywhere else, or would want to. There are days when she can hardly bear it, when she walks across the landing of the house, again and again, her arms crossed over her middle, her mind overfilled with images of descending an escalator into the Piccadily Line on a wet, darkened evening, everyone’s umbrellas slicked with rain, of the ten-minute walk between her old flat and her mother’s house, of Highbury Fields on a misty day, of the view over the city from Primrose Hill. Homesick: she’s found that it really does make you feel sick, ill, maddened by longing.
Maggie O’Farrell, Instructions for a Heatwave, p.116-117.