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The Heart's Invisible Furies
by John Boyne


Overview - 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.  Read more...


 
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More About The Heart's Invisible Furies by John Boyne
 
 
 
Overview
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.

 
Details
  • ISBN-13: 9781524760786
  • ISBN-10: 1524760781
  • Publisher: Hogarth Press
  • Publish Date: August 2017
  • Page Count: 592
  • Dimensions: 9.5 x 6.3 x 1.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds


Related Categories

Books > Fiction > Coming of Age
Books > Fiction > Family Life - General
Books > Fiction > LGBT - Gay

 
BookPage Reviews

A life lived half in shadow

Not long ago, it would have been fantasy that Ireland would have a gay prime minister, but the majority-Catholic country welcomed its first in 2017. The country has evolved from an often hateful hierocracy to a seat of social liberalism. Of this evolution, John Boyne’s new novel is an essential witness.

In 1945, the priesthood tears the novel’s narrator, Cyril, as an infant from his mother. A banker and his literary wife, Maude Avery, adopt him. Cyril discovers that he has no interest in girls, instead nursing a crush on his best mate, Julian. Homosexuality in Ireland being both sinful and criminal, Cyril must stay mum. But he confesses his many backroom trysts to a priest, who croaks as a result.

Like many gay men, Cyril marries out of convention, but not before professing his love to Julian. This goes over like a lead balloon, so Cyril finds himself in Amsterdam in Conradian exile. Dutch mores are more amenable; Cyril meets the love of his life. But even Holland has its hostilities. So the pair ends up in New York City at the height of the AIDS crisis. There Cyril becomes a volunteer in an AIDS clinic, and he and his partner adopt a son after a fashion. Normalcy is within reach before a homophobe assaults the pair in Central Park.

These are Furies on the visible spectrum. They pursue Cyril back to Ireland, where signs of a thaw are already evident. (Cyril is even propositioned by a bisexual pol aspiring to become prime minister.) Cyril reconciles with the ghosts of his past, including his estranged wife and biological mother.

More than a coming-of-age story, The Heart’s Invisible Furies is one man’s journey from persecution to toleration. Punctuated with simple dialogue, its nearly 600 pages betray Maude’s dictum that “brevity is the key.” But the novel seldom lags and often delights.

 

This article was originally published in the September 2017 issue of BookPage. Download the entire issue for the Kindle or Nook.

 
BAM Customer Reviews