The Heart's Invisible Furies

The Heart's Invisible Furies

Book - 2017
Average Rating:
11
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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.
Publisher: London ; New York : Hogarth, 2017
ISBN: 9781524760786
1524760781
Characteristics: 580 p. ; 25 cm

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EmilyEm
Apr 13, 2018

Enchanting story of a gay Irishman’s life and Ireland’s history from 1945 to 2015 told with both heartbreaking pathos and ironical humor. It’s hard to put a finger on what made this such good reading. Loved the little coincidences and inside jokes Boyne used to weave this story of mother and son. Another very good book!

ehbooklover Mar 16, 2018

I had heard that this was a great book. It sure was! I loved absolutely everything about it, especially the amazing, richly developed characters. Don't let the length intimidate you, it is an ultra-addictive and engaging read thanks to the wonderful writing.

a
annagraceiaboni
Jan 30, 2018

This was the Book of the Months Club "Book of the year." I checked it out not having any idea what it was about. It was very long and hard to get through at times but overall I really enjoyed the story. It was interesting that this book went from around the 1940s- 2015. I was able to learn a lot about a country I do not know much about (Ireland). The characters are loveable and there are heart wrenching moments and very laughable moments.

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leewardside
Jan 16, 2018

Unbelievable coincidences, extreme precociousness in the young, and a cliched plot: this book was sent flying, figuratively speaking, halfway through.

s
sgcf
Dec 14, 2017

I loved this narrating character, Cyril Avery – his emotional search for identity, for a sense of home, and his tough examination of Ireland’s history, controlled and damaged by the Catholic Church. ALL the characters were complexly drawn and so resonant. I was completely immersed in this novel and, although I typically read myself to sleep in 20 minutes, I went on and on captivated by Boyne’s brilliant epic. As I read, it made me think of another well-loved book, A Prayer for Owen Meany, with its scope of heartbreak, humour, rage, and injustice. And then I noticed the dedication was to John Irving (not sure what that was about). Not often I feel disappointed when I get to the end of a book, but this one – yes, I wanted even more.

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gale37
Nov 16, 2017

Impossible to put this book down until the end (actually the ending is the only part of the book which seems a tad contrived). Hilarity is only one of the weapons used to excoriate the church-dominated, narrow-minded insensitive side of the otherwise magical Irish soul. Boyne paints a perceptive, unflinching portrait of the last 70 years in Ireland while dwelling on departure, exile and return.

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genepy
Nov 14, 2017

Mr. Boyne’s fast paced and convincing prose carries the reader through the life of many
eccentric characters in this novel mostly about homosexuality and its ostracism but also picturing the hypocrisy and narrow-mindedness of the Irish church and society at large.
His dark humor and subtle characterization add to his biting portrait he of intolerance and stupidity.

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Estha
Nov 01, 2017

Amazing first chapter had me put my other books aside but...I'm bailing 1/2 way through. The story that captivated me, of feisty Kitty, pregnant in a religious and hostile Ireland is only one chapter long. The book focuses instead on her adopted, neglected and timid son as he grows into his homosexuality in the same hostile country. Sadly, some characters are just ridiculous.

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ownedbydoxies
Oct 27, 2017

Omigosh!, what a great book. By turns hilarious and heart-rending, it's just a great read. It's pretty huge, but don't be put off by its size, because it reads so well, you'll just find yourself promising 'only one more page', before putting it down, and then ten pages later you'll be saying 'only one more page'.... !

b
bronteside
Oct 11, 2017

John Boyne’s latest delivers like its predecessors:
A History of Violence and The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas
The novel scans decades, connecting the various lives within six degrees of separation.
The characters slam up against one another, tossed around by the iron clad cruelties of the omnipresent Catholic Church and the vagaries of the street.
There is a darkness to each life, but it’s ultimately undercut by the promise of aging and time.
Bonus?
Wonderful, laugh-out-loud dialogue . Pages and pages of it.
If for some reason , you can’t get beyond the first chapter - that would be enough.
Written with thunder- you know you are in the presence of great literary , and very Irish
hands.

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