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The heart’s invisible furies - Book review

The heart’s invisible furies by JOHN BOYNE

Publishing date : 2017

Genre : Historical fiction, LGBT

Pages : 701 (paperback)

Rating on goodreads : 4.5

My rating : 5

This book was the first recommendation I got from bookstagram, and I’ve never regretted it (among my all-time favorite books). It may look huge, but it’s an easy read, so engaging and you’ll fly through it. Once in your hands, you just can’t let go.

This masterpiece was written to show how life was in Ireland in the 1950’s. When priests used to run the country, and a single pregnant women was treated worse than garbage. That was Catherine’s case, she was 16 when she was kicked out from her hometown, carrying her shame, and a baby inside her belly. The book however, shows Cyril’s life (her son) from the day he was born and she had to give him up, till his last breath (it’s not a spoiler, the story is all about his life and what would happen to him).

So the story is told from Cyril’s point of view. How he was adopted by a couple who never considered him as their son or as they say, "not a real Avery”. They provided for him, but they showed no affection or love. He discovered that he was gay from a very early age, struggled to hide it and suffered deeply that he had to flee the country.

Well, In a time when being gay was a crime, the writer chose a flawed character, who have done mistakes and lost opportunities, to show how difficult and horrible those times were. Especially with the HIV virus spreading, or like they called it “The gay disease”. It was touching to see people misunderstanding it and reacting with violence.

However, the story has authentic characters, the writer took time to build each character and make it special.- I didn’t mention a lot of great important characters for the sake of not spoiling anything, so just know that every page of that huge book is worth it.- While advancing in the story, You can notice the main character’s development (Cyril) who I truly love, he wasn’t perfect at all but well, real life isn’t perfect either, so it was all realistic (I think because the writer is Irish so he knew what he was talking about). There were time laps inside the book, the author left a space for readers to rest, especially when something huge happens. It helped me personally to continue reading, and to stay engaged with the story. And although it’s a sad story, humor was often used to make things less dramatic (Knowing what Cyril was thinking is just hilarious). That’s why you’ll be laughing your heart out, and crying your eyes out while reading this book.

Those are few passages from the book:

Those fellas have no more sense than a wooden spoon said Mrs Hennessy. I’ve never known cruelty like the cruelty of the priests. This country…

Do they come into the shower rooms here? Well, yes, I said. To make sure that everyone is washing themselves correctly” “Bless your pure heart, he said, looking at me as if I was an innocent child.

She’s not dead?” “Not the last time I checked. I had lunch with her on Sunday and she was in fine fettle. Full of insults.


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