The Weight of Love by Hilary Fannin, Shortlisted for the Dalkey Novel of the Year Award 2021

Hilary Fannin is an award-winning playwright and newspaper columnist. Born in Dublin, where she still lives, she was writer in association at the Abbey Theatre in its centenary year. Her plays, including Mackerel SkyDoldrum BayFamished Castle and an adaptation of Racine’s Phaedra, have been performed in Ireland, London, Europe and North America. She writes a weekly column for the Irish Times and was awarded Irish Columnist of the Year in 2019. Her memoir, Hopscotch, was published to critical acclaim in 2015. The Weight of Love is her first novel.

Hilary Fannin book cover

About: The Weight of Love  by Hilary Fannin

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.


"This is heartache for grown ups. The Weight of Love pulls you in and does not let go." – Anne Enright

"Beautiful and painful, exquisitely written, shot through with nostalgia for our earlier selves." – Marian Keyes

Judges comments

"A masterful dissection of romantic love ... This novel is still revealing new unexpected depths until the final page." – Sunday Independent

“A stunning debut by a sure-footed writer who gets to the truth of things. With gorgeously rendered scenes of heartbreak, nostalgia, hope and loss, this novel will stay with you and have you longing for the next Hilary Fannin novel.”

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