Named Book of the Month Club's Book of the Year, 2017
Selected one of New York Times Readers’ Favorite Books of 2017
Winner of the 2018 Goldsboro Books Glass Bell Award
From the beloved New York Times bestselling author of The Boy In the Striped Pajamas, a sweeping, heartfelt saga about the course of one man's life, beginning and ending in post-war Ireland
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.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
Best known for the historical tearjerker The Boy in the Striped Pajamas, Irish novelist John Boyne brings levity to this coming-of-age epic about shame and identity in post–World War II Ireland. Born to an unwed mother whose Catholic clan cast her out, and then adopted by emotionally absent parents, Cyril Avery grows up with a nagging sense of otherness. His alienation is amplified when he realizes he’s gay—in a time and place when homosexuality was a criminal offense. Boyne’s arch humor and sweeping storytelling offset the fleeting moments of oppressive darkness, making for a novel that’s impossible to put down.
Boyne (The Boy in the Striped Pajamas) begins his enchanting, sprawling latest novel in 1945 as 16-year-old Catherine Goggin is cast from her home in Goleen, Ireland. Unmarried, pregnant, and shamed by a priest in front of the entire congregation, she makes her way to Dublin, where, after finding a job at the Parliament of the Irish Republic, she rents a dingy apartment. At her tenement, Catherine witnesses an act of violence against her flatmates, the stress of which forces her into labor in the hall of her building. Thus begins the life of Cyril Avery, the boy whose life fills the remaining pages. Splitting the novel into decade-long sections, Boyne explores Cyril's life in luscious detail. Cyril is raised by quirky and inattentive adoptive parents a banker and a successful writer in Dublin. After school he visits Amsterdam, then later navigates 1980s New York at the height of the AIDS epidemic. With evocative descriptions of each city and fateful plot turns that twist the narrative in surprising ways, Boyne adroitly captures Cyril's shifting identity as he grapples with nationality, class, and sexuality. The book becomes both an examination of Cyril's life and a catalogue of Western society's evolution from post-war to present day, with all its failings, triumphs, complexities, and certainties. The story falters slightly near the end, but the life of Cyril Avery is one to be relished.
Customer ReviewsSee All
Excellent book. It was hard to put down. The story is told in such an interesting way with unexpected twists and turns.
The Hearts Invisible Furies
A wonderfully written book, and finely integrated people caught in the heartbreak of intolerance and love.
Powerful and heart wrenching look at lives lived during a time of sadness and change. Great book!
A wonderful story. Many interesting characters. Very thought provoking regarding some of the current world issues.