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Other books by John Boyne
Did you know?
John Boyne plays the guitar, the piano and the ukulele!
1. It's 1945. Father James Monroe. Care to comment?
2. Point to some of the book's humor — what do you find funny? Is Cyril's voice, or some of his observations, from the womb funny, for instance?
3. Describe the Church's position in the young republic of Ireland and talk about how its power changes by 2015.
4. Cyril knows he is gay; how does he deal with this knowledge, especially in the middle years of the 20th century?
5. What do you make of Cyril's adoptive family, especially his father Charles who insists that Cyril is "not really an Avery" and that he should consider his growing up years with the family as a "tenancy." What does he mean by that, and how do those words affect Cyril?l
6. Why does Maude Avery disdain popularity as a writer? Why does she bother to write and sell books?
7. How would you delineate Cyril's interior monologues from his outward behavior. How do those two modes differ?
8. John Boyne's book is very much about self-transformation. "Even at that tender age I knew that there was something about me that was different and that it would be impossible ever to put right." Is change possible after a certain age, after the brain becomes less malleable?
9. Boyne peppers his writing with coincidence. Why might he do so: what is he suggesting by its frequent use?
10. Talk about post-war Ireland in the 1950s. In what way might you describe it as nightmarish?
11. Consider the book's title. What are the furies, and why invisible? Boyne reserves much of his ire not only for the clergy, but also politicians. What makes him angry?
12. Which section of The Heart's Invisible Furies engage you more than the others … and why?
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The Heart's Invisible Furies by
Publication Date: 2017-08-22
Cyril Avery is not a real Avery -- or at least, that's what his adoptive parents tell him. But if he isn't a real Avery, then who is he? Born out of wedlock to a teenage girl cast out from her rural Irish community and adopted by a well-to-do if eccentric Dublin couple. Cyril is adrift in the world, anchored tenuously by his heartfelt friendship with the more glamorous and dangerous Julian Woodbead. At the mercy of fortune and coincidence, he will spend a lifetime coming to know himself and where he came from - and over his many years, will struggle to discover an identity, a home, a country, and much more. In this we are shown the story of Ireland from the 1940s to today through the eyes of one ordinary man. The Heart's Invisible Furies is a novel to make you laugh and cry while reminding us all of the redemptive power of the human spirit.
The Line of Beauty by
Publication Date: 2004-10-05
In the summer of 1983, twenty-year-old Nick Guest moves into an attic room in the Notting Hill home of the Feddens: conservative Member of Parliament Gerald, his wealthy wife Rachel, and their two children, Toby-whom Nick had idolized at Oxford-and Catherine, highly critical of her family.' As the boom years of the eighties unfold, Nick finds his life altered by the fortunes of this glamorous family. His two vividly contrasting love affairs, one with a young black clerk and one with a Lebanese millionaire, dramatize the dangers and rewards of his own private pursuit of beauty.
Publication Date: 2002-09-04
"I was born twice: first, as a baby girl, on a remarkably smogless Detroit day of January 1960; and then again, as a teenage boy, in an emergency room near Petoskey, Michigan, in August of l974. . . " So begins the story of Calliope Stephanides and three generations of the Greek-American Stephanides family who travel from a tiny village overlooking Mount Olympus in Asia Minor to Prohibition-era Detroit, witnessing its glory days as the Motor City, and the race riots of l967, before they move out to the tree-lined streets of suburban Grosse Pointe, Michigan. To understand why Calliope is not like other girls, she has to uncover a guilty family secret and the astonishing genetic history that turns Callie into Cal, one of the most audacious and wondrous narrators in contemporary fiction.
The Married Man by
Publication Date: 2000-05-30
Austin is an American furniture scholar living in Paris. He is pushing fifty, loveless, drifting. One day he meets Julien: French, an architect, much younger and married. This chance acquaintance matures into profound romance. As the two men dash between bohemian suppers and sophisticated salons, their only impediments are the comic clashes of culture, age and temperament. However, Julien's past catches up with them. In a quest to save health and happiness, they move from Venice to Key West, to Montreal and Providence. But it is amid the sands of the Sahara that their love is pushed to its ultimate crisis.