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The Heart's Invisible Furies

4.48  ·  Rating details ·  89,887 ratings  ·  11,860 reviews
Cyril Avery is not a real Avery or at least that’s what his adoptive parents tell him. And he never will be. But if he isn’t a real Avery, then who is he?

Born out of wedlock to a teenage girl cast out from her rural Irish community and adopted by a well-to-do if eccentric Dublin couple via the intervention of a hunchbacked Redemptorist nun, Cyril is adrift in the world, an
Hardcover, 582 pages
Published August 22nd 2017 by Hogarth Press (first published February 9th 2017)
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Richard 1. why don't you search for Skull on a google map ?
2. In a box by post.
3. because it is fiction
4. because it was in stores…more
1. why don't you search for Skull on a google map ?
2. In a box by post.
3. because it is fiction
4. because it was in stores(less)

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Average rating 4.48  · 
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 ·  89,887 ratings  ·  11,860 reviews

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Elyse  Walters
Update: If by some crazy reason you have missed this book....its a $1.99 kindle special today. I actually have a phone call to make to make sure a friend buys it today.
Not a book to hesitate buying it at this price if you’ve not taken your turn reading it yet.


I finished this seconds ago.... THE BEST NOVEL of 2017......
It's not only a FAVORITE-FAVORITE....It makes my top 10 BEST BOOKS in at least the last 5 or 6 years!!!! PHENOMENAL- long - lush perfectly escapist read!!!!

Emily May
Aug 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: historical, 2017, botm
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.

This book. THIS BOOK. I cannot remember the last time I became so thoroughly immersed in a story, fell so deeply in love with the characters, and had my heart so fully ripped out. The Heart's Invisible Furies is a masterpiece. Most people will know Boyne from his hard-hitting children's book The Boy in the Striped Pajamas, but this book is something else entirely.

Will Byrnes
Long before we discovered that he had fathered two children by two different women, one in Drimoleague and one in Clonakilty, Father James Monroe stood on the altar of the Church of Our Lady, Star of the Sea, in the parish of Goleen, west C ork, and denounced my mother as a whore.
I imagine I must have been under some sort of a curse for the last sixteen years or so. How else to explain that I just finished reading my first John Boyne novel. Must be the luck of the Irish, well the Irish-Amer
Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin
UPDATE: In Audible US sale today 12/26/18

The first paragraph of the book is what grabbed me:

Long before we discovered that he had fathered two children by two different women, one in Drimoleague and one in Clonakilty, Father James Monroe stood on the altar of the Church of Our Lady, Star of the Sea, in the parish of Goleen, West Cork, and denounced my mother as a whore.

Pretty powerful stuff, that. Little Cyril is telling the story as a babe not even born yet and the story he told, whew. I w
Dec 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
So it's my last review of 2017, and my year in books has ended pretty much as it began with an excellent 5 star read. John Boyne is a truly gifted writer and 'The Heart's Invisible Furies' is simply mesmerising.

Cyril Avery was born out of wedlock to 16 year old Catherine Coggins. Because of this, Catherine is banished from the small Irish Community where she's lived all her life. This is 1940's Ireland where Catholic priests very much ruled their communities. Publicly denounced as a whore by the
The Catholic Church has an unpardonable and deplorable history mired in horrors such as support for fascist regimes in Spain, Germany, Italy, its oppositon to liberation theology whilst buttressing the power of the tyrannical dictators of South and Central America and its brutal history in Ireland. John Boyne embodies the heartbreaking history of Ireland and the Catholic Church in the post war years from 1945 to 2015 through the ordinary life and times of Cyril Avery. It is ambitious, moving, un ...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
May 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favourites
let us all take a brief moment of silence and remember the old me, the person i was before i read this book; because by the end of the story, i became someone new and improved.

i knew this was going to be a 5 star read within the first couple of chapters, but the absolute magnitude of this story is truly astonishing. and im finding it difficult to adequately describe the raw sincerity and intense emotional pull of this book.

i have never used the word ‘unputdownable’ before in a review, but maybe
Jan 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: overdrive

“We’re none of us normal. Not in this f*cking country.”

I don’t have the words to do this book justice, so all I will say is that I loved everything about this book: the characters, the plot, the sentences. Every moment, every word, every second of reading. It's perfection!
The Heart’s Invisible Furies by John Boyne is a 2017 Hogarth Press publication.

For years people have listened to me bemoan the demise of the great, epic literary saga. The big tome that covered decades and generations, loaded with drama, the sweeping grand love stories, the heartbreaks, crimes, and tragedies.

While this book has achieved a great deal of press, loads of accolades and praise, and is very beloved, for so many understandable reasons, at the end of the day, this is an amazing family
Kevin Ansbro
Sep 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Lovers of Irish fiction. Broad-minded readers. People who have have a wicked sense of humour.
Recommended to Kevin by: Cheri and Elyse
"Why should we take advice on sex from the pope? If he knows anything about it, he shouldn't."
-George Bernard Shaw

At the outset, author John Boyne sets the scene that will lay the foundation for this bittersweet, decade-traversing novel: sixteen-year-old Catherine Goggan is with child in a god-fearing, godforsaken part of rural Ireland. But this is Ireland in 1945, when blind prejudice is as ubiquitous as clover in the meadows. And, because of her supposedly egregious sin, the town's misogyn
Diane S ☔
Jul 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing
When I first started reading this I had no idea of how much I would end up loving this book. Felt that way for the first 100 pages or so, not that I wasn't liking it but the beginning sometimes seemed a by muddled, couldn't figure out where it was going. It starts in the forties, in an Ireland where Catholic priests held way too much power over the lives of their parishioners. A young woman, barely sixteen and pregnant is literally drummed out of the church, after refusing to name the father of ...more

In THE HEART'S INVISIBLE FURIES, the story begins in Ireland and Catholic priests rule.

As for this reader, John Boyne rules.....Get ready to laugh, be shocked, appalled and heartbroken (continuously) as you read Cyril Avery's life story. We have here excellence in story-telling, amazing characters with outlandish names AND personalities that fit them to a big fat T.

Adopted as a baby to peculiar parents (to say the least) Cyril is oft

Larry H
Jul 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: netgalley
Few authors can slay me emotionally while simultaneously making me think, the way that John Boyne does. His book The Absolutist (see my original review), is one of my favorite books of all time, and also made my list of the best books I read in 2012. Five years later, I still can't get that book out of my mind or my heart.

While not all of Boyne's books have caught my interest, his latest, The Heart's Invisible Furies , utterly knocked me out. I read the entire book in one day (thanks to t
Angela M
Jul 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'm finding it difficult to do justice to this story that evoked so many emotions, sometimes from one extreme to another. I was sad and angry among moments of joy and there were times when I laughed out loud. The story a man struggling in a society that doesn't accept homosexuality, living with the odd people who adopted him at three days old, who said he'd never be an Avery . How is it possible for him to have a capacity for love, for caring when he experiences no love or comfort or caring in t ...more
Jan 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: xx2018-completed
I learned a lot about Ireland – and the Irish – while reading this book. I learned that the priests are all perverts and sadistic controllers; their parishioners do their best to follow the example of the priests; the people are ignorant (and thus use myriad swear words instead of using real words); the men are either homosexual or they want to be, and if they aren’t either of those, they are still completely obsessed with sex with as many partners as possible, as are the other men. In fact, I l ...more
Jan 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ireland, netgalley
4.5* rounded up. I subtracted half a star because I had to suspend disbelief with all the coincidences that take place in the novel. No way would they be possible in real life.

Yes, yes, yes. I finally found a novel that everybody raves about that I also loved. The Heart’s Invisible Furies made me feel everything, I laughed, I was sad, I was hopeful and then disappointed, I was enraged by the people’s mentalities and I even wanted to punch a couple of the characters in the face, even the main cha
Virginia Ronan ♥ Herondale ♥
”The desire to fall in love and to share one’s life with someone is neither a homosexual nor a heterosexual conceit. It’s human. We’re all suckers for a pretty face or a kind heart. What else can we do but keep hoping that the right person will show up?” - John Boyne

I usually don’t start my reviews with a quote from the author her/himself but I think this one is very important and needs to be read. In my opinion it’s the message John Boyne wanted to convey when he wrote “The Heart’s Invisible Fu
Oct 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
See this review @

I picked this up on Netgalley as soon as I saw it and I was luckily approved. I read The Boy in the Striped Pajamas years ago with my oldest son and couldn’t wait to read this after I read a few reviews on Goodreads from some close friends. The book wasn’t what I expected and due to the myriad of feelings I have about it, I’ve been struggling to write a review on it for a few weeks now. There might be spoilers here.

The story begins with a
Lindsay - Traveling Sisters Book Reviews
5 stars!

I am having a hard time finding the proper way to describe my love for this book. Cyril is one of the most amazing and unforgettable characters I have ever ‘met’!

I felt an immediate connection to this novel – from page 1, I was fully invested in Cyril’s life. I felt so many emotions throughout the pages of this captivating book – happiness, anxiety, sorrow, sadness, anger, disappointment, excitement……and the list goes on. Cyril’s narration was done brilliantly!

This is my first book by
5 meaty stars!

It has to be good if I give 5 stars to a 600-pager! (She with the ADD who likes her books to be under 400 pages….) Seriously, big books annoy me because so often they have fillers. Reading a big book can be like eating a massive plate of noodles, when you really just want to get to the luscious meatball nuggets buried somewhere in there (vegetarians, please imagine tofu nuggets; I must make this analogy relatable!). In a big book, you often get a plate full of philosophical or reli
Susanne  Strong
5 Absolutely Brilliant Amazing Stars.

Unforgettable, Heartbreaking and Humorous. In “The Heart’s Invisible Furies,” John Boyne takes us on the journey of Cyril Avery’s life. His loves and losses, his heartbreaks and his triumphs. He makes you laugh out loud hysterically and cry just as often. John Boyne makes you fall in love with every single character in this brilliant novel. Cyril, his best friend Julian Woodbead, Julian’s sister Alice, Bastiaan and Ignaac. After finishing it, my heart was fu

The Catholic Church has not been known for embracing homosexuality, or sexuality except as it relates to bearing children to those happily wed with the blessing of the Church. It is in 1945, this era in Ireland, where sixteen year-old Catherine is exiled from her church by their priest, the same priest, who it will later be discovered had fathered two children by two women. One in Drimoloeague, one in Clonakilty. The same Father James Monroe denounces Catherine as a whore and
Sep 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing
582 pages of pure, unalloyed reading pleasure. This is my second book by this author and I have not got a single word of criticism to make about his writing.

The Heart's Invisible Furies tells the tale of Cyril Avery's life, right from his mother's unfortunate pregnancy to his eventual death. Cyril is a wonderful character who makes some shocking mistakes along the way but does good things too. I loved his sense of humour most of all, especially in the face of the ignorance and stupidity he had t
Jan 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Christine by: Diane 5 and Angela M 5
Oh my, is it all downhill from here?? This is my first novel of the year, and I’m afraid it may well be my top read of 2019! Yes, it is that special.
This is my first experience with John Boyne, and I am so pleased that he has written ten other books for me to explore.

How can this novel be summed up in a nutshell? Well, it is just not possible. Which is a good thing. Read the blurb, then settle in for a treat. This is Cyril’s story—from the age of 7 to 70. It is also, in a lesser way, Ireland’s
Ann Marie (Lit·Wit·Wine·Dine)
I knew I had to read The Heart’s Invisible Furies when I saw it on so many “Best of 2017” lists. The endorsement of several of my favorite bloggers who often have tastes similar to my was enough to convince me to insert this 582 page book smack into the middle of my already jam-packed reading schedule. A few of those include Renee at It's Book Talk , Sarah at Sarah's Book Shelves , and Susie at Novel Visits. I’m happy say I do not regret for one moment the fews days following that I felt compell ...more
Richard (on hiatus)
Jun 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
"Give me a child until he is 7 and I will show you the man." ― Aristotle, The Philosophy of Aristotle.

In 1964 a documentary programme called 7 Up was first aired On British TV. A group of 7 year old children were interviewed (very candidly) about their lives. Black and white glimpses of their world were shown and their very different backgrounds and aspirations were compared. The same children were then visited every 7 years for a detailed update on their lives and circumstances.
It was whilst w
Shelby *trains flying monkeys*
This book starts with a young girl being kicked out of her church because she is pregnant. The church and her family toss her out and she heads off to Dublin.

On reading the first bit of this story I thought everyone five starring this book had lost their wasn't bad but I was not turning pages very fast. (Partly due to being sucked into the Netflix void called Wentworth..not sorry)

Then the baby is born and we meet Cyril...and then I began to understand the rave reviews.

Cyril is given
Andrew Smith
Sep 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The opening scene is a cracker. We’re witness to the harsh treatment meted out to a sixteen-year-old girl who has become pregnant in 1940’s Ireland. It’s a shocking scene, a truly shocking scene. Young Catherine Goggin is attending mass at her local church when the priest draws the congregation’s attention to her situation. Having fully and publicly castigated her for the sin of becoming pregnant out of wedlock the priest then marches her out of the church making it clear that she is to leave th ...more
4.5 stars

"Long before we discovered that he had fathered two children by two different women, one in Drimoleague and one in Clonakilty, Father James Monroe stood on the altar of the Church of Our Lady, Star of the Sea, in the parish of Goleen, West Cork, and denounced my mother as a whore."

Catherine Goggin, age sixteen, had the misfortune of finding herself unwed and pregnant in a time and place wholly unforgiving of her condition – the time being the mid-1940s, and the place Ireland, a country
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John Boyne (born 30 April 1971 in Dublin) is an Irish novelist.

He was educated at Trinity College, Dublin, and studied Creative Writing at the University of East Anglia, where he won the Curtis Brown prize. In 2015, he was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Letters by UEA.

John Boyne is the author of ten novels for adults and five for young readers, as well as a collection of short stories.

His novel

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“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.” 115 likes
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