‘I used to have a daughter of my own – Ciara – but I lost her.’
Dancing to the End of Love is the latest novel from writer Adrian White. It was released by Black and White Publishing on 7th April this year. I received my copy courtesy of writing.ie in exchange for an honest review.
‘When internationally successful singer Siobhan McGovern turns up at a launch of Robert Lanaghan’s latest book in Dublin, it’s the start of a stormy, passionate affair. They’re instantly attracted to each other but come from very different worlds. Robert lives a quiet, solitary life, while Siobhan is always in the media glare. By the time their daughter Ciara is born, they both know they are very different people who want very different things.
Bitter with the way things have turned out, Robert sells out the only thing that now means anything to him – his relationship with his daughter. As he travels aimlessly around Europe, spending the money Siobhan has paid to get him out of her life, he begins to spiral out of control. Can he ever come to terms with what he has done, or will the disappointments of the past stop him building any kind of future?’
Dancing to the End of Love is a story about a man who has given up on life. Robert Lanaghan is a man at the end of his tether. He roams the world in a cloud of anger and despair, not sure of his place in society anymore.
Robert Lanaghan was a successful writer with the world at his feet. At one his book signings in Dublin, he meets Siobhan. Famous & beautiful, their destiny is entwined. Robert is willing to shelve his career and follow Siobhan with hers. That all works fine until they have a little baby girl, Ciara.
Robert, happily, stays in their Dublin home to look after Ciara while Siobhan gets her career back on the road. It is a way of living that suits him. His needs are low key and he doesn’t have the compulsion to be famous as Siobhan.
Their relationship is doomed from the start. Siobhan wants something different that Robert seems unable to offer her so she threatens him. She wants sole custody of their daughter and will go to any length to achieve this. She pays Robert off. He unwillingly accepts this and it really is the turning point in his life and career.
Robert leaves Ireland and travels across Europe on a quest to forget what he has done, to forget that he sold out on his baby girl. He moves around in a daze, spending freely the money he has received, but never happy.
Eventually, Robert returns to the UK, where things take quite a sinister turn. He develops relationships but with no success until he meets Juliette. This seems to be the start of something special. Juliette knows who is and is willing to open her heart and her home to him. But Robert is unable to accept stability & happiness and he sets out to destroy this fledgling relationship, like every other in his life.
Robert’s one remaining friend is Danny. Danny is training for the priesthood in Maynooth and is currently based in Rome. It is to Danny that Robert turns to eventually. In Italy Robert seems to find redemption and himself. He struggles with his demons but in time attempts to reestablish relationships with both himself and others who support him.
I loved the Italian location in the book. We are temporarily transported to Rome and to Pisa. I could almost smell the tomatoes and the wine, when Robert discusses cooking and shopping.
Unfortunately though, I think the book was let down by one section. It really confused me. Without mentioning any spoilers, I felt it was an unnecessary couple of chapters. The book would have functioned just as well, if not better, without it. I may be alone in this view but would be curious to hear what others think.
Adrian White has written a good novel. Dancing to the End of Love is a very easy read and one I’m sure many of you will enjoy.
About the Author:
Adrian White is an English writer who has lived in Ireland for over twenty-five years. His first novel, An Accident Waiting to Happen, was published in print by Penguin Books – as was his second novel, Where the Rain Gets In. Both are now available in print and digital.
Dancing to the End of Love is published by Black & White Publishing of Edinburgh.