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Fannin debut is a masterful dissection of romantic love

Fiction: The Weight of Love

Hilary Fannin

Doubleday €15.99

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Hilary Fannin's debut novel The Weight of Love is skilfully structured

Hilary Fannin's debut novel The Weight of Love is skilfully structured

The Weight of Love

The Weight of Love

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Hilary Fannin's debut novel The Weight of Love is skilfully structured

Hilary Fannin's debut novel The Weight of Love opens in London in the mid-1990s, throwing us immediately into the fulcrum of this novel, a scene where the three characters, Robin, Joseph and Ruth, first come together.

From the outset, it seems like their destinies, inextricably linked, are also unchangeably set. In their beginning was their end. In fact, this opening scene is not the beginning of this story. Fannin, an Irish Times columnist, proceeds, with the skill of a surgeon, to peel back layer upon layer, while simultaneously adding further layers, through a timeline that jumps back to the past, then to more recent times.

A story that opened with such seemingly definitive character tropes - penniless, tortured but attractive artist Joseph; reliable, lovelorn Robin; and beautiful, idealistic and slightly lost Ruth - reveals itself in multiple surprising directions.