Wednesday, 7 August 2019

Book Review: The Heart's Invisible Furies by John Boyne

Forced to flee from her hometown, Catherine Goggin finds herself pregnant and alone at just sixteen. Having settled in Dublin, she gives her newborn baby over to a hunchbacked Redemptorist nun. And so begins the story of Cyril Avery...

" had manifested the heart’s invisible furies on his face."

Reasons why you NEED this book:
- it is incredibly engrossing. Once you start you won’t want to put it down!
- it is laugh-out-loud funny. That Irish sense of humour!
- it would be a fantastic read for #pridemonth
- it tackles so many heavy issues from the oppression of the Catholic Church in Ireland to the violence and terrorism inflicted by the IRA to the HIV/AIDS crisis... it covers it all!!
- the story spans for decades from Cyril’s birth to when he reaches old age and every single stage of his life is depicted in such a heartfelt and real way
- it will crush your heart in the best way possible; books like this are the reason why we read in the first place.

This is truly one of those books where it’s hard to convey in a limited number of characters how brilliant it really is. Such memorable and well-written characters who are not without their flaws. They are all painfully human.

I love my country, but also recognise how backwards it can be in some regards - we’ve come a long way but there is still plenty that needs to change. Reading about the history of Ireland and the attitude towards the LGBTQ+ community in the 1960s is hard, there’s very little to be proud of - yet Boyne balances it perfectly with the right amount of humour so that it doesn’t become TOO depressing.

In a nutshell, if you haven’t read this one, you must! It’s a beautifully written epic saga laced with emotion that I will be shouting about from the rooftops for a very long time. I’m quite literally recommending it to everyone in my personal life.

And I got to buddy read it with one of my favourite people, Gemma!



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