“I remember a friend of mine once telling me that we hate what we fear in ourselves.”— The Heart’s Invisible Furies, John Boyne
Spanned over half century, Boyne told a compelling story of the life of Cyril Avery in the book The Heart’s Invisible Furies. Although adopted by a rich couple, his adopted father constantly reminded him that he’s not a real Avery. Also neglected by his adopted mother, Cyril learnt to keep things to himself since the very young age. When his fondness towards his best friend, Julian, escalated, Cyril was confused and scared. At that time, homosexuality was substantially shunned by the society in Ireland. Living his life in secret, one day, he committed a fatal mistake in the hope that he’d stay closer to Julian.
Abruptly, Cyril left everything in Dublin for Amsterdam to start a new life. He tried to move on and found the love of his life, there. Things were going well but one unforeseen circumstance occurred and they had to leave Amsterdam. They moved to New York. Unexpected turns of event brought him his old friend back to his life and his life was in chaos again.
Boyne touches various aspects: teenage pregnancy, homosexuality, AIDS, self acceptance, and forgiveness, etc. Although 21st century may slightly be a better place to live, he reminded the reader about the horrifying ghosts of the past in Ireland. This is my fifth book of Boyne and I have become accustomed to his refined tone in storytelling. Still, this book brings joy, excitement and several other heartfelt emotions. Predictable some twists in the story, yet still bewildering to read how he brought the fates of the characters heartlessly and sometimes, sympathetically. Boyne always knows how to tug my heartstrings in a cathartic way.