It has felt like a long time (though if I really think about it, it has been no time at all), since I have read a book that I loved this much.
I have however found it more difficult to focus on a book in the last few weeks, apart from this one. I was actually reaching for it, looking for any moment to pick it up and begin reading, I really did enjoy it a lot.
The book reminds me lots of another favourite of mine; Life After Life by Kate Atkinson (read more about this particular favourite here). It is so real, so devastating and wonderful, that just like Life After Life, it is a story of survival. The Heart’s Invisible Furies is funny, sad, and very sad. It hit my heart, made me cry, made me smile. All the things I want books to do to me.
The Heart’s Invisible Furies by John Boyne tells the story of Cyril, from before birth to almost death, coming to terms with his identity in a heavily-religious Ireland. Friendships, relationships and family are major themes, alongside all the pain and fury that comes with any minority group living in our society (whether past or present).
At 701 pages it seems hefty, or at least, heftier, but I got through it in about a week (though that does count one sleepless night of 4 extra hours of reading). The book is actually a loan to me – I received it as a beginning of a book swap with a new friend, and needless to say I’m feeling the pressure of sending something equally as good back to her. (Thank you, Beth!)
Anyway, enough of me gushing about it in nonsensical rambling. Here are some of my favourite quotes:
“All these people… and all of that trouble. And look, they’re all dead now. So what did it all matter in the end?”
“If I’m going to be close to someone, Cyril, then they can ask about my life and those days are part of my life. If they’re bothered by it, then they can move on, I don’t care. But I will never lie about who I am or what I’ve done.”
“Anything is possible,’ I said. ‘But most things are unlikely.”
“…she has more power than every man in the room combined, because men are weak and governed by their desires and their desperate need for women but women are strong. I’ve always believed that if women could only collectively harness the power that they have then they’d rule the world.”
“If there is one thing I’ve learned in more than seven decades of life, it’s that the world is a completely fucked-up place. You never know what’s around the corner and it’s often something unpleasant.”
“It’s as if she understood completely the condition of loneliness and how it undermines us all, forcing us to make choices that we know are wrong for us.”
“I was deluding myself, for love was one thing but desire was something else entirely.”
“Most men are not as smart as women and yet they continue to hold all the power. They fear a change of the world order.”