An Irish Novel For Everyone Around The World

Deborah Parchem, Editor

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For anyone looking to branch out of the typical, America-centered young adult novels, The author of The Boy in the Striped Pajamas, John Boyne’s latest work, The Heart’s Invisible Furies, is the place to look. In the novel, the main character, Cyril Avery is born in post World War II Ireland after his mother is expelled from her small town and church for an unmarried teenage pregnancy. The story then follows Cyril as he grows up in an adopted family with apathetic parents as he struggles to find a way to live his life as a gay man in an orthodoxical Catholic, conservative country.

The book, which never loses its well thought out pacing, engages the reader from the first page to the last. The Heart’s Invisible Furies is a fascinating and complex commentary on the social atmosphere of Ireland and the world in the second half of the twentieth century. It examines Ireland and makes the reader question and think about the regression and progression societies and individuals can make throughout generations, putting a historical lens on many of the subjects still debated today. The novel puts a twist on many of the preconceived notions held about Ireland and ourselves.

The characters are relatable and the story they tell is both hilarious at times and heart-wrenching at others. The book is no doubt one of John Boyne’s finest to date, deftly incorporating themes from his earlier works (most notably from The History of Loneliness), the novel is a beautiful culmination shown through the life of one man and the many people he affects, which can not and should not be missed by anyone, avid reader or no.

A page turner to the last, the novel is riveting and impressive with a 4.5/5 on goodreads and a 90% approval rating, this book is one of the best that I have read in years and I would highly recommend it to anyone in a heartbeat. John Boyne never fails to write an astounding story, and this novel is the ultimate proof of that.

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An Irish Novel For Everyone Around The World