THE HEARTS INVISIBLE FURIES
Written by John Boyne
Published by Anchor Canada, March 6, 2018
My star rating: 500000000 stars!
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 glamorous 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. Find it on Goodreads
This book. THIS BOOK!!! From the time that I started the Top 5 Tuesday meme, this book would show up constantly! Fellow bookworms seemed to be obsessed with it and recommended it to me constantly. It took me a while to realize that it was written by the author of The Boy in the Striped Pajamas which I loved, so I had a feeling that this one would pack an emotional punch. I enjoyed it, but since it was written from the perspective of a young boy, it was hard for me to relate to it a little bit. But, I took the advice of my fellow blogger, and picked this one up. This might end up being one of my ALL TIME FAVOURITES!!!
If you aren’t aware of what this book is about, let me give you a little run down. Yes, there’s a synopsis, but I hope that I can give you a little more insight. The book opens with an unwed teenage girl who finds herself in the family way. In Ireland, the church makes the rules, and it’s through the church and her family that the decision is made to exile her. She is on her own, pregnant, and without money, and finds herself on a bus to the big city in the 1940’s. She meets some friends, gets a job, and decides that she can’t raise the boy on her own. This book basically follows the boy that was given up for adoption from the time he’s a young boy until just before his death.
Because it follows his life, this is a VERY character drive book. It’s separated by certain years of his life, from the time he’s 7 all through until he’s in his 70’s. Each of these parts highlights where he is in his life, his relationships, his location, and every other detail. Each of these pieces puts his life together in beautiful chronological order.
Throughout his life, he has many struggles. The hardships in this book are brutal. He finds that he’s a gay man living in Ireland, where this is just NOT accepted. Gays are exiled, beaten, and sometimes killed. He struggled to find the balance of his heart and what the country deems as acceptable. He struggles to find balance between his heart and what’s considered normal. Sometimes his heart wins while other times he pushes it aside to just be accepted. Either road he turns down he has to face a sacrifice. It was painful while also beautiful. His experiences with death, loss, grief, friendship, decisions, acceptance, family, love, travel, and so much more was 100% enlightening. So many times he had to make a difficult decision not only for himself but for those he loved. Someone always had to get hurt in the process though. Having to face the situations he was in would feel impossible. And when you’re in the thick of it, it’s so easy to be blinded of who gets hurt in the process. I cried so many times!!!
This book was also strongly themed with connections. The characters were all connected in some way. No matter the distance in space or time. Whether they knew it or not, other characters shaped each others futures and came back as time went on. Some of it was a little far fetched and elaborated, but I didn’t care. The way that it was written was just so beautiful and made all the strings connect from beginning to end.
This is not an easy read. There’s death, loss, disease, more loss, and absolute heartbreak. But it’s a book that is written so well that you can’t stop reading. You’re so fully invested in their lives and their relationships. Each and every character is developed so well that you feel as if you knew them personally and you’re reading about their past life. It’s a long book at almost 600 pages but it’s so easy to fly through – I read it in less than 24 hours.
I wish I could rave more about this book but anything that I want to talk about would be a spoiler. I don’t want to tell you anything as this is a book that needs to be peeled back layer by layer on your own. It was absolutely breath taking and one of the best books I’ve EVER read!!!
Until next time, happy reading!