The Heart's Invisible Furies

The Heart's Invisible Furies

Book - 2017
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Adopted by a well-to-do if eccentric Dublin couple who remind him that he is not a real member of their family, Cyril embarks on a journey to find himself and where he came from, discovering his identity, a home, a country, and much more throughout a long lifetime.
Publisher: London ; New York : Hogarth, 2017
Edition: First US Edition
Copyright Date: ©2017
ISBN: 9781524760786
Branch Call Number: FIC BOYNE 2017
Characteristics: 580 pages ; 25 cm


From Library Staff

The Irish writer's 10th novel for adults examines one man's life over the course of 70 years to reveal the personal and societal toll of Ireland's repression of homosexuality.

From the critics

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Jul 10, 2018

A great sweeping story that is a wee bit over the top at times, but for me it just added to the whole allure of disappearing into the book. Very good writer.

Jun 20, 2018


lindsay_r Jun 06, 2018

This saga, which follows the life of a gay man growing up in Catholic Ireland, effortlessly moves between heart-wrenching tragedy and laugh-out-loud wit. There is an anger simmering throughout the novel, but it is intertwined with love and tenderness, making it a very moving read.

Apr 13, 2018

Enchanting story of a gay Irishman’s life and Ireland’s history from 1945 to 2015 told with both heartbreaking pathos and ironical humor. It’s hard to put a finger on what made this such good reading. Loved the little coincidences and inside jokes Boyne used to weave this story of mother and son. Another very good book!

ehbooklover Mar 16, 2018

I had heard that this was a great book. It sure was! I loved absolutely everything about it, especially the amazing, richly developed characters. Don't let the length intimidate you, it is an ultra-addictive and engaging read thanks to the wonderful writing.

Jan 30, 2018

This was the Book of the Months Club "Book of the year." I checked it out not having any idea what it was about. It was very long and hard to get through at times but overall I really enjoyed the story. It was interesting that this book went from around the 1940s- 2015. I was able to learn a lot about a country I do not know much about (Ireland). The characters are loveable and there are heart wrenching moments and very laughable moments.

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.

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