Excerpt from The Heart's Invisible Furies by John Boyne, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

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The Heart's Invisible Furies

A Novel

by John Boyne

The Heart's Invisible Furies by John Boyne X
The Heart's Invisible Furies by John Boyne
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  • First Published:
    Aug 2017, 592 pages

    Paperback:
    Mar 2018, 592 pages

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My mother stood up slowly and made her way toward the altar, a place she had only ever been before to take Communion. Her face was not scarlet, she would tell me years later, but pale. The church was hot that day, hot with the sticky summer and the breath of excited parishioners, and she felt unsteady on her feet, worrying that she might faint and be left on the marble floor to wither and rot as an example to other girls her age. She glanced at Father Monroe nervously, meeting his rancorous eyes for only a moment before turning away.


"As if butter wouldn't melt," said Father Monroe, looking out at his flock and offering a half-smile. "How old are you now, Catherine?" he asked.

"Sixteen, Father," said my mother.

"Say it louder. So the good people at the back of the church can hear you."

"Sixteen, Father."

"Sixteen. Now lift your head and look out at your neighbors. At your own mother and father who have lived decent, Christian lives and been credits to the parents who went before them. At your brothers, whom we all know to be fine upstanding young men, hard workers who have led no girl astray. Do you see them, Catherine Goggin?"

"I do, Father."

"If I have to tell you to speak up again, I'll hit you a slap across this altar and there's not a soul in the church that would blame me for it."

"I do, Father," she repeated, louder now.

"I do." That will be the only time you ever utter those words in a church, do you realize that, little girl? There'll never be a wedding day for you. Your hands are going to your fat belly, I see. Is there a secret that you're hiding?"

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Excerpted from The Heart's Invisible Furies by John Boyne. Copyright © 2017 by John Boyne. Excerpted by permission of Hogarth Books. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

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