Published now in Penguin Modern Classics, Penelope Lively’s Heat Wave is a moving portrayal of a fragile family damaged and defined by adultery, and the lengths to which a mother will go to protect the ones she loves.
Pauline is spending the summer at World’s End, a cottage somewhere in the middle of England. This year the adjoining cottage is occupied by her daughter Teresa and baby grandson Luke; and, of course, Maurice, the man Teresa married. As the hot months unfold, Maurice grows ever more involved in the book he is writing – and with his female copy editor – and Pauline can only watch in dismay and anger as her daughter repeats her own mistakes in love. The heat and tension will lead to a violent, startling climax.
"Extraordinarily good, intelligent and perceptive ... very moving."
Susan Hill, author of The Woman in Black
"[Heat Wave is] short, but the emotions are so intense and the writing so good that it punches well above its weight."