The Weight of Love
5 March 2020
'Delicate, powerful, hypnotic.' DONAL RYAN 'An exquisitely written, deeply moving novel about the agonies of love, intimacy, and the harm we inflict upon one another in the name of romance.' LOUISE O'NEILL London, 1996. Robin and Ruth meet in the staff room of an East London school. Robin, desperate for a real connection, instantly falls in love. Ruth, recently bereaved and fragile, is tentative. When Robin introduces Ruth to his childhood friend, Joseph, a tortured and talented artist, their attraction is instant. Powerless, Robin watches on as the girl he loves and his best friend begin a passionate and turbulent affair. Dublin 2017. Robin and Ruth are married and have a son, Sid, who is about to emigrate to Berlin. Theirs is a marriage haunted by the ghost of Joseph and as the distance between them grows, Robin makes a choice that could have potentially devastating consequences. The Weight of Love is a beautiful exploration of how we manage life when the notes and beats of our existence, so carefully arranged, begin to slip off the stave. An intimate and moving account of the intricacies of marriage and the myriad ways in which we can love and be loved. 'An absorbing, cleverly structured, yet very human novel. It is hard to accept that it is Hilary Fannin's first' RODDY DOYLE
This is a first novel that doesn’t read like a first novel. The author is clearly an accomplished writer, a journalist and playwright in Ireland, and now a novelist. The prose of this novel captivates the reader from beginning to end. It is not simply the skilled use of beautiful language, but the aspects of people and events the author chooses to describe. It imbues the reader with many senses – nostalgia, romance, lust, regret, longing and melancholy, and even happiness and joy, something that I seek, but too rarely find in modern novels.
It is the story of three friends – Ruth, Joseph, and Robin; two cities – London and Dublin; and two time periods – the mid-90’s and 2017 and beyond. All three have had upbringings that were dysfunctional in one way or another. All three spend their lives searching for love, fulfillment, a sense of achievement, and reconciliation with their pasts.
This is not an ordinary love story, nor one of lost opportunities. Rather it examines three imperfect people, their relationships to each other, and what binds them for life whether they want that or not. And it is about fidelity and infidelity. This is a book that could easily be missed and overlooked. It hasn’t gotten the hype that other books, less worthy, are buried under. And it is a book that I won’t soon forget.
Barbara De Garcia
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