When book club did a book exchange for Christmas, I ended up with this gem… this heavy, heavy gem. Coming in at 582 pages, I found it intimidating until I saw the reviews. Then I knew I had to read it. And what do you know? I brought it back to book club in February and we chose it as our March book!
The Heart’s Invisible Furies
by John Boyne
Synopsis According to Mandi:
Without spoilers, The Heart’s Invisible Furies follows Cyril Avery through life as he seeks to establish who he is, what his place is in the world and what love means to him. Given away at birth, Cyril’s never had a normal family. He’s never known a normal love. He’s never felt at home. As he battles the life he was given and the culture he was born into, he learns to find peace after decades of searching for what that means.
“Maybe there were no villains in my mother’s story at all. Just men and women, trying to do their best by each other. And failing.”– John Boyne, The Heart’s Invisible Furies
Awards (based upon my brief research):
Lambda Literary Award Nominee for Gay Fiction (2018)
Andrew Carnegie Medal Nominee for Fiction (2018)
Goodreads Choice Award Nominee for Historical Fiction (2017)
Book of the Month Book of the Year Award (2017)
My Overall Rating:
5 – The whole way through, I was riding at a 4, but by the end I was so invested that I just bumped that right up to a 5. Here’s the thing: This is not a book I would have chosen had I not known how much other people have loved it. It started slow. It was not what I expected. But, eventually, I was emotionally in ears deep.
I cannot believe the oppression homosexual people have faced in the past and continue to face even today. In the course of 582 pages, I felt sad for Cyril, mad, happy and hopeful. It pains me to know that people have lived lives even remotely similar to his. Why do we oppress other people? Who are we to judge?
Now I’ll cool off and say that I also love, LOVE John Boyne’s writing style. I loved it in A Ladder to the Sky, and I loved it in this one as well. He’s incredibly talented and takes such a unique approach to story-telling. I am mesmerized by how he’s able to do what he does so well.