Thursday 29 September 2016

Fiction: Dancing to the End of Love by Adrian White

Black and White Publishing, €8.99

Justine Carbery

Published 12/09/2016 | 02:30

Dancing to the End of Love by Adrian White
Dancing to the End of Love by Adrian White

This debut novel by Adrian White, with a title evocative of Leonard Cohen's gorgeously romantic love song, is indeed about love in all its guises but especially at its most destructive and vengeful.

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Robert Lanaghan is an angry man, a once successful writer who fell passionately in love with a beautiful but damaged world famous singer, Siobhan McGovern. She goes off on tour leaving Robert to look after their baby girl Ciara, until she returns, suddenly and inexplicably, enraged at Robert's presence. Calling a halt to their short-lived marriage, she wants to expunge him totally from her life, threatening to blackmail him into giving her sole custody of their child. With little choice, he accepts a huge financial pay-off in return for a promise never to see his daughter again and leaves Ireland to roam Europe a wounded and bitter man - notching up and then callously ditching a succession of unsuspecting girlfriends.

White writes well and I got carried along for a while, but I had an uneasy relationship with his flawed protagonist who says about himself: "I'm not the right man for anyone in her right mind." After a strange interlude in a British prison, he moves in with his protector, Juliette, only to continue his self-sabotaging ways, committing an unnecessarily gruesome act before walking away. Despite some reservations, I did enjoy this new voice in Irish fiction.

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