Book Review – The Heart’s Invisible Furies

The Heart’s Invisible Furies by John Boyne (Doubleday) ISBN: 978-0-8575-2348-8

Cyril Avery is merely a few days old when he is handed over for adoption by a hunchbacked nun. His unwed mother is forced to flee to Dublin after being publically disgraced by the local Parish priest and banished by her own father. And so begins a peculiar journey that spans his entire life – who is Cyril Avery really?

Brought up by wealthy and eccentric parents: a philandering banker father, twice imprisoned for tax evasion; and a chain-smoking and detached author for a mother. Cyril Avery’s tale is one of a child that never quite fits in. Throughout his life Cyril must discover who he really is and somehow come to peace with himself. Most of the time he fails dismally which makes for both a heart wrenching and at times hysterically funny tale.

In The Heart’s Invisible Furies John Boyne returns to some of his favourite themes – Ireland and the Catholic church; a young man struggling to come to terms with his own sexuality in a culture and age of intolerance. This is a wonderful and memorable story.

Wayne Bouwer

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