84 pages 2 hours read

John Boyne

The Heart's Invisible Furies

Fiction | Novel | Adult | Published in 2017

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Part 2Chapter Summaries & Analyses

Part 2: “Exile”, Part 2, Book 1: “1980: Into the Annex” - Part 2, Book 2: “1987 Patient 741”

Part 2, Book 1, Chapter 1 Summary: “By the River Amstel”

Cyril is 35 and living in Amsterdam. He sees a boy getting beat up by a man much larger than him and goes over to see if he is alright. The boy is only about 15, and Cyril offers to help, but the boy declines and stumbles off in pain. Cyril goes into his flat, unaware of what exactly he just witnessed.

Part 2, Book 1, Chapter 2 Summary: “Pulling Myself Out of the Shit”

Cyril learns to ride a bike in Amsterdam, as is the standard there; a license is required to do so. He fails the test three times before passing and is on his first solo ride to meet his boyfriend Bastiaan’s parents, the Van Der Berghs. He rides out to their farm and is greeted by two dogs, causing him to fall off his bike into a pile of cow excrement. Edda, Bastiaan’s mother, comes out to greet Cyril and invites him inside. She offers him a shower and some clothes.

While he is in the shower, Edda comes in to take his clothes and seems to pause for a moment to stare at his silhouette. She nods in approval and leaves. Cyril dresses and goes down to the kitchen where he meets Bastiaan’s father, Arjan. Arjan and Edda are both concentration camp survivors, who found each other shortly after the Holocaust.