The Heart's Invisible Furies by John Boyne
“I’ve lost people before. I’ve known violence. I’ve known bigotry. I’ve known shame and I’ve known love. And somehow, I always survive.” John Boyne has penned a gorgeous epic that I am still reeling from days after I turned the last page. I am not sure I can adequately convey how moved, how emotional, how stunned, how speechless and how joy filled this book has left me. This book is absolutely one of my top reads for the year as well as a top read of all time for me. Spanning from 1940s Ireland to present day, we follow the life of Cyril Avery, a man who is struggling to come to terms with who he really is and how to be that person while attempting to meet the expectations of his family and the society that he lives in. The character development in this one is just incredible and even though it’s a hefty 580 pages, I was so sad when the book ended. There were several times as I read that I kept thinking, “NO SIR you CAN NOT do this to me. Give the man a moment of happiness, he deserves a bright spot in all this tragedy” and then the happiness would come and I would be so relieved and optimistic that Cyril was on his way up and then Boyne would crush all my dreams and take it all away again.
And yet, it was one of the most beautiful stories I have read in a long time. I absolutely loved Catherine and her fierce determination and Cyril, bless him, I just wanted to hug him and be his friend. I realize this really isn’t a proper review of this book, I think it’s going to take many days of fully absorbing this masterpiece and calming myself down -- if what happens in Central Park doesn’t just rip your heart clean out of your body then I don’t know if I can be friends with you. For now just know that it gets all the stars. All the love. It deserves all the hype. Thank you John Boyne for writing this extraordinary book and thank you Hogarth Books for publishing such a gorgeous literary work. THIS BOOK IS EVERYTHING.