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The Heart's Invisible Furies

4.47  ·  Rating details ·  39,692 ratings  ·  6,249 reviews
Named Book of the Month Club's Book of the Year, 2017
Selected one of New York Times Readers' Favorite Books of 2017

From the beloved New York Times bestselling author of The Boy In the Striped Pajamas, a sweeping, heartfelt saga about the course of one man's life, beginning and ending in post-war Ireland

Cyril Avery is not a real Avery -- or at least, that's what his adopti
Paperback, reprint edition, 592 pages
Published March 6th 2018 by Hogarth Press (first published February 9th 2017)
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4.47  · 
Rating details
 ·  39,692 ratings  ·  6,249 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  ·  review of another edition
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.

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 was
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-Americ
Well, I'm definitely in the minority with this one. With an overall average rating of 4.49, based on thousands of reviews, I had expected this book to be a sure thing for me. It just goes to show you that it doesn't always work out that way.

That being said, I can definitely see the appeal of this story for a lot of readers. This book addresses many important topics and tackles some controversial subject matter. It covers a period of time that spans decades, from the 1940's to present-day, lendi
Dec 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Diane S ☔
Jul 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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

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!
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
Larry H
Jul 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 two a
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
Jan 10, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Oct 24, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jan 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley, ireland
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
Kevin Ansbro
Sep 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 Boyle 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 misogynis
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
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
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

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
Lindsay - Traveling Sister
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
Sep 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 4000-books
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
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
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
Rating 4.75

Love! I just love this one! A special heart-warming book that should be read by everyone! It puts you through so many emotions while reading it. I laughed, I gasped, and I tried *really* hard not to cry. Note to self - don't read this book in public on the next read. The odd looks when you laugh out loud. I resisted for so long, worried about all the hype. But this is one time where you can believe that hype.

The Heart's Invisible Furries tells the life story of Cyril Avery, well, he's
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
Mar 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What a story! This is about a Dubliner, Cyril Avery and takes place just prior to his birth, and in 7 year increments thereafter. We are taken from Ireland, to Amsterdam, then New York.. and back to Ireland.

We see the hypocrisy and influence of the Catholic Church in post World War ll Ireland until its evolution of change many years later, and how Cyril managed to live his homosexual life during these times. There is a lot of humor amid the drama!

These characters are wonderful and ended up meani
Brilliant!!! I cried plenty, laughed lots, gasped at times, and sobbed on numerous occasions. A very emotional book, full of endearing (and some loathsome) characters and incidents. Fantastic writing, clever story telling, the sequence of events combined with fiction and factual were sublime. My favored aspect of this book was how the story lines were scattered here and there but eventually they all came to fruition. Best of 2017, in my top 10 favorite for the year.
Nov 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Among the tales of sorrow and of ruin that come down to us from the darkness of those days there are yet some in which amid weeping there is joy and under the shadow of death light that endures.

—J.R.R. Tolkien, The Silmarillion

I love a fairy tale. From the hunchback old woman delivering the foundling babe to the castle until the happy wedding at the end. Well, not precisely a foundling, nor royalty in a castle for that matter, but close enough.

It's not a subtle point. The key phrase "a little h
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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
“A line came into my mind, something that Hannah Arendt once said about the poet Auden: that life had manifested the heart's invisible furies on his face.” 60 likes
“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.” 52 likes
More quotes…