Review: The Heart’s Invisible Furies by John Boyne

John Boyne is angry with the Catholic Church.  His latest offering – the mighty tome that is The Heart’s Invisible Furies – feels like a cathartic exploration of that anger. He gets to it right away too, emphasising the often-cited hypocrisy of the church in his brutal opening sentence: “Long before we discovered that he had fathered two children by two different women… Father James Monroe stood on the altar of the Church of Our Lady, Star of the Sea, in the parish of Goleen, West Cork, and denounced my mother as a whore.”

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Review: The Bricks That Built the Houses by Kate Tempest

The opening sequence of Kate Tempest’s debut novel The Bricks That Built The Houses reads like Renton’s updated “Choose life” soliloquy from Trainspotting 2, observing modern-day life where “people are killing for gods again. Money is killing us all. They live under a loneliness so total it has become the fabric of their friendships. Their days are spent staring at things. They exist in the mass and feel part of the picture. They trust nothing but trends.” That Tempest is an exceptional wordsmith is never in doubt – the influence of poetry is apparent, but that is her style, her USP, if you like.

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