Title: The Heart’s Invisible Furies
Author: John Boyne
Publisher: Black Swan
“It was a difficult time to be Irish, a difficult time to be twenty-one years of age and a difficult time to be a man who was attracted to other men. To be all three simultaneously required a level of subterfuge and guile that felt contrary to my nature.”
I have to say I wasn’t sure what to expect from this book, but I certainly got something completely different. The topic is a sure a heavy one – it follows a life of Cyril Avery, a boy born in Ireland in 1945, in a time when girls getting pregnant out of marriage would get them banished from society, and being gay was illegal and could get you killed or locked for life. The story jumps through every seven years of his life following unusual path of a gay man struggling to find the way to live and accept the world. We get to experience all the terrors of bigotry and prejudices, the rejections and humiliations and the fear of that time. We get to relive 70’s, 80’s and 90’s with him, we see people leaving, people dying and people making stupid decisions. ⠀
What struck me the most is how funny and entertaining this book is, with a ton of quirky characters that really add up to the richness of the story. There is a ton of smart and witty conversations and good humor, and I often found myself giggling to some situations. So even though you’re reading such brutal and insanely claustrophobic story, you will find that its possible to accept it as the way of the time and still enjoy the read. And it takes a masterful writer to do such thing. ⠀
I will recommend this book to everyone. The ones that want to learn more about the history of Ireland, the ones that want to read lgbtq+ stories and the ones that enjoy books with smart humor. The only reason I gave it a 4.5 stars is because I was missing that tiny spark that lights in me when I read the book I will get to love for forever. But that is just personal.
MY GR RATING: 4.5 stars