Book review – The Heart’s Invisible Furies, John Boyne


Published by Random House UK, Transworld, Black Swan

ISBN 9781784161002

An absolutely amazing book that I found completely absorbing. It’s powerful, heart-wrenching and in several places had me laughing out loud. In 1945 sixteen year-old Catherine Goggin is cast out of her parish in rural Ireland by the priest for being pregnant. She starts a new life in a new place, giving up her baby to a hunchbacked Redemptorist nun. Cyril is constantly reminded as he grows up that his parents are only his adoptive parents and that he’s “not a real Avery” – but then who is he? The only certainty he feels is his love for his best friend Julian but that’s not only illegal – to admit his feelings would be to risk everything.

There’s so much more to come as we follow Cyril up to the present day through his relationships, bereavements and a crime, living in Amsterdam and New York and then back in Ireland. Throughout the story there are tantalising near-miss encounters between the two main characters who are unaware of their connection –  will they ever find out?

I found all the characters plausible and especially loved Cyril. The dialogue is wonderful, exposing people’s bigotry, hypocrisy and breathtaking lack of self-awareness.

I’d thoroughly recommend this book. My thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for a copy of the book which I was under no obligation to review.

My rating ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️


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