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2021 Dalkey Literary Awards - Novel of the Year
Two old friends reconnect in Dublin for a dramatic, revealing evening of confidences - some planned, some spontaneous - in this captivating new book from the author of the Booker Prize-winning Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha.
Old friends meet up on a summer's evening at a Dublin restaurant. Both are now married with grown-up children, and their lives have taken seemingly similar paths. But Joe has a secret he has to tell Davy, and Davy, a grief he wants to keep from Joe. Both are not the men they used to be.
Neither Davy nor Joe know what the night has in store, but as two pints turns to three, then five, and the men set out to revisit the haunts of their youth, the ghosts of Dublin entwine around them. Their first buoyant forays into adulthood, the pubs, the parties, broken hearts and bungled affairs, as well as the memories of what eventually drove them apart.
As the two friends try to reconcile their versions of the past over the course of one night, Love offers a moving portrait of what it means to put into words the many forms love can take throughout our lives.
What the critics say
"A profound examination of friendship, romantic confusion and mortality." (John Boyne)
"Both elegiac and hilarious." (The Washington Post)
"At the end of this long night's journey into day, we are buoyed against the sadness by what is finally a portrait of love in the face of life." (Booklist)
Witty, satisfying....By closing time, Doyle has focused the novel’s rambling energy into an elegiac and sobering climax. This one is a winner." (Publishers Weekly)