Cyril Avery is not a real Avery. His pregnant mother was denounced from her Cork village in 1945 and gave birth to him in post WWII Dublin. His adoption by a wealthy but eccentric couple is referred to as, ‘an eighteen-year tenancy’ he is constantly reminded that he is not as a real member of the Avery family.
Under the shadow of his adoptive mother Maude, a successful author who finds any popularity ‘vulgar’ and his adoptive father Charles, a tax dodger and serial womaniser, Cyril narrates his way through through his life experiences and meets a cast of colourful characters. There are some delightful cameo roles for real life Irish politicians and VIPs as well as comical conversations with strangers.
Boyne writes with real stark observation and you feel pulled into his world, a space filled with dysfunctional family, loyal friends and sharp dialogue. The novel follows Cyril from his traumatic birth, amidst a scene of abhorrent violence, through seventy years of his turbulent life, struggling with his sexuality and other peoples expectations. He lives in cities with beautiful backdrops, Amsterdam, New York and back to a modern Dublin with modern sensibilities. A reflection on LGBT+ trials and triumphs delivered with heartfelt humour and wit, Cyril Avery is a character you wont easily forget.
Published by Black Swan ISBN 1784161004