Filtered/Unfiltered Book Reviews: “The Heart’s Invisible Furies” by John Boyne

Last year I made a goal to read more books and also discover more authors. Back then my tastes in books consisted of Palahniuk, Murakami, Coupland and anything that mimicked those authors.

I never did venture out of my comfort zone. Now I have and my bookshelf is an utter mess. I decided to start a little blog discussing books that I have read to showcase them and offer my thoughts. I also want to shed light on some of the books that aren’t as widely known (flying under the radar).

Today I will be looking at “The Heart’s Invisible Furies” by John Boyne. Heart’s won some awards last year and it certainly was well deserved. From the plot description, I knew immediately that this was not going to be a quick and easy read.

Heart’s follows the story of a boy named Cyril Avery. He was adopted right after has was born and his adoptive parents constantly remind him that he is not a real Avery, nor will he ever be. So, who is Cyril Avery? We learn more about Cyril from different times in his life. The first chapter sets up what’s in store for us. We learn of Cyril’s mother through Cyril’s point of view and the circumstances of his birth.

We follow him when he is a kid, where we meet the eccentric Julian (his best friend). Through their friendship we learn that Cyril is gay and he has feelings for his best friend Julian. Btw, they are in Ireland (heavy Catholic influences). Though homosexuality is more accepted today, we tend to forget that it was highly highly frowned upon back in the 1940s and 1950s and Heart’s makes us aware how dangerous a lifestyle like that was.

Cyril’s story is not a happy one but, as the reader, we do root for him and I felt happy for his victories. He did make some terrible decisions in the novel though.

The rest of the story follows him through different stages of adulthood, tacking issues like the AIDS outbreak and discovering details of his birth family.

Like I said earlier, it’s not a quick read (it took about a month to read it, which I’ll explain later in detail), but it’s a great book to read.

I’m definitely going to follow up with Boyne’s other works soon. I’m holding off though because I’m not ready for any more mental anguish (he was great at that).

Thank you all for reading. Hope you all enjoyed it. My next book I’ll be looking at is “Mr Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore” by Robin Sloan.

So now, I’m about to spoil the hell out of this book on the next page.

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