Published 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.
Penelope Lively (b. 1933) was born in Cairo. She has twice been shortlisted for the Booker Prize; once in 1977 for her first novel, The Road to Lichfield, and again in 1984 for According to Mark. She later won the 1987 Booker Prize for her highly acclaimed novel Moon Tiger. Her novels include Passing On, City of the Mind, Cleopatra’s Sister and Heat Wave, and many are published by Penguin.
If you enjoyed Heat Wave, you might like Lively’s Moon Tiger, also available in Penguin Modern Classics.
‘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’