I saw the hype on #bookstagram and I thought, “Yea, ok. Sounds good. Everybody loved it. I’ll give it a shot.” Then I started to read it and I thought, “Hmm…what am I missing? I mean, it’s ok. But everybody’s throwing around phrases like ‘favorite book of the year’ and ‘the best book ever’ and I’m just not getting it.” But I continued to read because I trust this community and now I’m like, “OMG. I GET IT!! SO FREAKING GOOD! DEFINITELY ONE OF MY ALL-TIME FAVORITE BOOKS!!” Seriously y’all…I want to climb the highest mountain and scream to the world, “READ THIS BOOK, LIKE YESTERDAY! WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR??”
Ok, now that I’ve got that off my chest and I’ve calmed down a bit…you guys, #thisbook! It’s got all the feels and it’s just the most beautiful life story. Cyril Avery is born in post-WWII Ireland. His mother gives him up for adoption when he’s just three days old. He struggles most of his life to find a place to belong – and let’s just say that Ireland and all her politics do not make it easy on him. As a child who realizes early on that he is gay – in a country and a time where that declaration is completely unacceptable – Avery endures many heartbreaking, confusing, and difficult times. He searches for a love and acceptance that many (even still today) take for granted.
Avery’s transformation into a confident, secure, and happy man is a beautiful journey. He – like all people, really – has hardships. But ultimately, he realizes that those difficult times are where he learned to embrace and accept himself. Towards the end of his life he realizes that he wouldn’t be who he is without them; therefore, he wouldn’t change any of it.
Cyril Avery has earned a place in my heart forever. I haven’t been able to stop thinking about his little world, and I know I will visit it again many times over the years to come.