Title: The Heart’s Invisible Furies
Author: John Boyne
Pub Date: August 2017
My Rating: ★★★★★
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Synopsis from Goodreads:
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 three score years and ten, 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 don’t know if it’s possible to describe how much I love this book, how emotional it was to read it, how sad, beautiful, funny, heart warming and heart breaking it was. It’s an epic story of life, life full of violence, fear, hardship, sorrow, but also happiness, forgiveness and love.
The beginning of the book might be misleading, and confusing – there’s no Avery in sight for quite some time. But it all makes perfect sense soon enough and we meet Cyril Avery, “not a real Avery”, boy adopted by a bit eccentric couple. His adoptive mother (this has to be highlighted, that she is not his real mother) is a writer, and treats Cyril like an accessory, a small adult, not at all like a child that needs love and attention. His father is known for his romances and has troubles with law. This strange set up is when we meet Cyril and when his life of hardship begins. Later on in his life he attends boarding school, falls in love and is obsessed by fellow student from the school, he works in the government, moves to Amsterdam and later on to New York. He has an eventful life, there are moments when he’s in love and happy, and when he is love and miserable.
I am a big fun of epic stories of life, a story that captures ones whole life from when they were a kid to the day they old. Those stories show all the different aspect of life, how strange it is, how joyful and how awful it is. Here, the author used a lot of amazing coincident that bring together important people from Cyril’s life together without anyone of them knowing about their involvement in Cyril’s life, or even without knowing who Cyril is. Those are highly unlikely to happen in real life, but work wonderfully in the fiction world of Cyril Avery. It’s always engaging for the reader to follow characters and judge their actions while knowing way more than the characters can ever know. At least it’s something that I like while reading the story.
I cannot recommend this book highly enough. It got its place on list of my all time favorite books. It’s an amazing story that will trigger all of the emotions in you. Even though some of the themes are really hard and horrible to read, the book is still full of funny conversations that are lighting the mood when you need it. Cyril’s humor is making the story easier to read, and it’s not as depressing as it could be.