Nominated by:

Openbare Bibliotheek Gent, Belgium

Municipal Library of Prague, Czech Republic

Waterford City & County Libraries, Ireland

Dunedin Public Libraries, New Zealand

Milwaukee Public Library, USA

Richmond Public Library, USA

Publisher of nominated edition:

Transworld Publishers, UK

Hogarth, USA

The Heart’s Invisible Furies

John Boyne      

Forced to flee the scandal brewing in her hometown, Catherine Goggin finds herself pregnant and alone, in search of a new life at just sixteen. She knows she has no choice but to believe that the nun she entrusts her child to will find him a better life. Cyril Avery is not a real Avery, or so his parents are constantly reminding him. Adopted as a baby, he’s never quite felt at home with the family that treats him more as a curious pet than a son. But it is all he has ever known.

And so begins one man’s desperate search to find his place in the world. Unspooling and unseeing, Cyril is a misguided, heart-breaking, heartbroken fool. Buffeted by the harsh winds of circumstance towards the one thing that might save him from himself, but when opportunity knocks, will he have the courage, finally, take it?

About the author

John Boyne  was born in Ireland in 1971. He is the author of nine novels for adults, five for young readers and a collection of short stories. Perhaps best known for his 2006 multi-award-winning book The Boy In The Striped Pyjamas, John’s other novels, notably The Absolutist and A History of Loneliness, have been widely praised and are international bestsellers. His most recent book is The Boy At The Top Of The Mountain, which sees him returning to the setting of the Second World War. His novels are published in over 45 languages.

Librarians’ comments:

Witty, humorous, sad, wonderful characters with a bittersweet ending.

Historical figures mingle with fictional ones in this odyssey through Ireland. With reminiscent descriptions of each city and auspicious plot turns that twist the narrative in surprising ways, Boyne captures Cyril’s shifting identity as he grapples with nationality, class and sexuality.

The story of Cyril Avery is the story of Ireland from the 1940s to today. Nowadays there is a profoundly changed attitude toward sexuality and the power of the church has diminished.

The Heart’s Invisible Furies follow Cyril Avery’s entire life – from his birth in Ireland in the 1940s, to his coming out and his self-imposed exile abroad, right up to his return to Ireland in the future. Born in Dublin to an unwed teenage mother just after WW11, Cyril is adopted by a wealthy couple, the larger than life Maude and Charles Avery, who regard his as a tenant, insisting that Cyril is ‘not a real Avery’ whenever he is introduced. He spends his life coming to terms with who he is and discovering where he came from and where he belongs, and throughout his sometimes painful journey to self-acceptance, Boyne’s humor and tender regard for Cyril balance out the brutal pivotal scenes. By the end of this heartfelt and immersive story, the reader feels as though they too have become a part of Cyril’s family.

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