'The most beautifully written and crafted novel ... heartbreaking' Santa Montefiore
'It’s been a long time since I read anything so compelling and satisfying. At times, incredibly funny, at others, heartrending’ - Sarah Winman, author of Tin Man
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?
Winner of the 2018 Glass Bell Award for standout storytelling.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
Best known as the author of The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas, John Boyne scores another emotional triumph with this ambitious novel. Told in intervals of seven years, the book follows Irish narrator Cyril Avery from the mid-'40s to today, as attitudes towards homosexuality change painfully slowly in his home country. Sparkling spritzes of humour help balance the more harrowing turns, while Boyne has roguish fun handling the hot potato of era-specific controversies. It’s a far-reaching book about learning to feel comfortable in your own skin while you wait for the world to catch up.