Title: The Heart’s Invisible Furies
Author: John Boyne
Rating: 5/5 stars
Release date: August 22nd 2017
Publisher: Hogarth Press
Cyril Avery is not a real Avery — or at least, that’s what his adoptive parents tell him. And he never will be. But if he isn’t a real Avery, then who is he?
Born out of wedlock to a teenage girl cast out from her rural Irish community and adopted by a well-to-do if eccentric Dublin couple via the intervention of a hunchbacked Redemptorist nun, Cyril is adrift in the world, anchored only tenuously by his heartfelt friendship with the infinitely more glamourous and dangerous Julian Woodbead. At the mercy of fortune and coincidence, he will spend a lifetime coming to know himself and where he came from and over his many years will struggle to discover an identity, a home, a country, and much more.
In this, Boyne’s most transcendent work to date, we are shown the story of Ireland from the 1940s to today through the eyes of one ordinary man. The Heart’s Invisible Furies is a novel to make you laugh and cry while reminding us all of the redemptive power of the human spirit
I have heard a lot about Boyne’s works but the thought of reading them never came up once. Not until I was given a chance to receive an early copy of his newest work, one that explores Ireland’s history through the eyes of just one man.
This is a powerful book. One that does not quite leave your system for weeks. One that will stick with you for as long as you can remember. You start seeing the world through Cyril’s eyes – the choices (both good and bad) that are made, the frustration, the prejudice, the cruelty, but also the connection and bond that were formed through thick and thin. This book mostly exposes homophobia, bigotry and misogyny, and you will really feel the frustration and resentment growing while reading about them, I mean really feel them. It’s real, fresh and honest. There is never a dull moment. I read this book nice and slow, savored it for two weeks – and absolutely loved everything about it. I always almost skim unnecessary details in large books like these, ones that are more character-driven and focuses on development rather than atmosphere, but not with this book. I took in every word, every emotion, every little detail, and it wraps up exquisitely. It’s like a relaxing spa bath. You immerse yourself in Boyne’s lyrical prose and come out feeling happy, relaxed and satisfied. And maybe just a little bit tired.
It is truly amazing. So much drama and angst, but the right amount of humour and wit. Boyne’s written prose is fantastic. Sweet, clever and modest. He does not elaborate too much but builds up the right amount for the readers to enjoy. I read this throughout my trip and love how natural it all felt. Sometimes I force myself to read and enjoy a book, but I took my time with this one and love every moment of it. *sigh*
This book has become my favorite book of 2017 thus far. I’m sorry if my gushy review does not do the book justice, but I highly recommend picking it up. It’s incredible. Don’t be intimidated by the size! I was a little bit upset when I only had a hundred pages left to go. Savor it! You need the right time to completely lose yourself with this book. Read it!!!!!!
Many many thanks to Crown Publishing for sending me an ARC in exchange for an honest review!