The Hearts Invisible Furies – John Boyne

Forced to flee the scandal brewing in her hometown, Catherine Goggin finds herself pregnant and alone, in search of a new life at just sixteen. She knows she has no choice but to believe that the nun she entrusts her child to will find him a better life.

Cyril Avery is not a real Avery, or so his parents are constantly reminding him. Adopted as a baby, he’s never quite felt at home with the family that treats him more as a curious pet than a son. But it is all he has ever known.

And so begins one man’s desperate search to find his place in the world. Unspooling and unseeing, Cyril is a misguided, heart-breaking, heartbroken fool. Buffeted by the harsh winds of circumstance towards the one thing that might save him from himself, but when opportunity knocks, will he have the courage, finally, take it?

About the Author:

John Boyne was born in Ireland in 1971. The winner of three Irish Book Awards, he is the author of eleven novels for adults, five for younger readers and a collection of short stories. The international bestseller The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas was made into a Miramax feature film and has sold more than six million copies worldwide. His novels are published in over fifty languages. He lives in Dublin.

My Review:

WOW – just WOW – I don’t even think anything I write now will do this incredibly, beautiful and amazing book justice.  My first book by John Boyne and now I have downloaded his entire back catalogue as I begin to come to terms with the stunning story I have just finished.

The Heart’s Invisible Furies is, in my opinion, one of the most moving, heartbreaking, powerful stories I have read.  John Boyne is quite simply a literary genius, bringing Cyril Avery to life in such vivid detail.  From his early childhood in Dublin 1945 where he was born to a 16 year old unmarried mother and adopted by a couple who were able to provide for him financially but unable to provide the most important requirement of a parent – love and acceptance.  At the age of 7 Cyril’s life changes when he meets Julian and realises that he is attracted to men and not women.

The Heart’s Invisible Furies follows Cyril’s life starting in Ireland, then Amsterdam and New York, spanning 70 years, we watch Cyril come to terms with his sexuality, hide his truth from his friends and family and make some often awful mistakes.  Set in Ireland during the 40’s and 50’s where homosexuality was not acceptable (understatement of the century!), the politics and religious aspects play a large part in Cyril’s story and the reader is taken on an incredible journey.

This wonderful, often hilarious, and heart tugging saga took my breath away.  I can’t add much more – except I cried, I laughed, I cried again and I absolutely loved this book.  100% recommended.

Find this book on Amazon