I’ve been dying to write this review all day. I finished The Heart’s Invisible Furies by John Boyne late last night and I wanted to write my review there and then I was so excited. My sensible head caught up with me though and I got my head down for some sleep ready for Monday morning work today. Now here I am, straight after work, very excited to let you all know my thoughts.
Cyril Avery isn’t a real Avery, which is something his adoptive parents will never let him forget. He was born out of wedlock to a young mother who was banished from her home town of Cork in Ireland and placed for adoption once he was born. After his unusual upbringing as “not a real Avery” he spends his whole life discovering who he is, why he is who he is, where he came from and where he’s supposed to be.
I honestly don’t even know where to begin. I fell in love with this story fairly early on. I had a very vague understanding of the Irish culture in times gone by, but nothing regarding what I learnt from this book. It starts in the 1940’s and brings us right up to modern day, where at the point of arriving there I questioned myself. What’s really changed? Have the attitudes of people in Dublin and wider Ireland really changed that much in that space of time? I’m sure there are plenty of Irish people who have progressed hugely but reading this book really made me think of people everywhere across the world who are so stuck in the dark ages and stuck behind their own ideas of what is “socially acceptable” and made me feel sad for them. Sad that they won’t allow themselves to move with the rest of the world and just accept people for being people.
Of course my favourite character was Cyril (1 not 2; you’ll get it if you read). What an absolute gem of a man. I want to know Cyril, I want to sit down and ask Cyril questions and hear his answers. Following this character from country to country was awesome. I followed along with his laughs and his tears, his moments of joy and his times of heartache.
In my opinion this book is written fantastically. I gobbled it all up as fast as my eyes and brain would let me. It taught me things that I didn’t know I was going to learn before reading it. I wish I would rewind and read this book with fresh eyes all over again. Hats off to Mr Boyne, thank you for this wonderful story!
“You look like a Greek God sent down by the immortal Zeus from Mount Olympus to taunt the rest of us inferior beings with your astonishing beauty, I said, which somehow in translation came out as “you look fine, why?”
The Heart’s Invisible Furies by John Boyne