The Heart's Invisible Furies

The Heart's Invisible Furies

Book - 2017
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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.
Publisher: [Toronto] : Bond Street Books, [2017]
Copyright Date: ©2017
ISBN: 9780385690607
Branch Call Number: FIC Boyne
Characteristics: 580 pages


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Jan 16, 2018

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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'.... !

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.
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

multcolib_alisonk Sep 27, 2017

Every seven years we get a glimpse of the life of Cyril, a boy adopted by a wealthy and detached couple in 1940's Dublin; we see him at 7 when he meets the love of his life, at 14, when he is beginning to come to terms with his sexuality, and all through a long life of struggling and striving to fit in. At 600 pages, the plot is strong enough to sustain interest, but the readers will find their incredulity strained at the many implausible coincidences. One of the main characters is Ireland itself, and the torturous route it takes getting to modernity. An enjoyable read that would have been better with editing.

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