The Heart’s Invisible Furies, John Boyne, author; Stephen Hogan, narrator
I was so looking forward to reading this book because I admire the author’s work. After reading the first few chapters, I raved about it and recommended it. The narrator was great, interpreting situations and voices well.
Soon, however, as I read more and more, I had buyer’s remorse. Although it begins with the story of a young Irish Catholic girl who is humiliated in church after being sexually impregnated by a relative, whom she protects, the story veers off from her life and centers on the life of her child Cyril. She disappears and the reader meets Cyril’s dysfunctional adoptive family and home life. When Cyril realizes, at age 7, that he rather enjoys the sexual company of boys, and discovers his homosexuality, with no one to speak to and no way to understand it, I began to wonder if this was a book I should continue to read.
After Cyril is then sent to a private school run by priests as a scholarship student, but is too naïve to understand that there is blatant homosexuality in his midst, until his first homosexual encounter shows up and coincidentally becomes his roommate, I gave up on finishing the book. One because it seemed contrived, two because I am not interested in how boys or men pleasure each other and the scenes and language were too explicit for my taste.
Also, the consequences of the Aids epidemic were alive and well in my lifetime, with friends and relatives suffering from the disease and succumbing to it. I did not care to read further about it. I simply found the content too disturbing. I felt as if it was written for liberals who are anti-church and LGBT activists. They may enjoy it far more than I did.
While I realize that I usually have an open mind and read a variety of genres, when I realized that I dreaded picking this book up each day, and got through only a few pages, I decided it was time to permanently put it down.