A Lover of Books

‘The Italian Chapel’ by Philip Paris + Competition

The Italian Chapel

I was kindly given ‘The Italian Chapel’ to read by Black and White Publishing.  Originally published in 2009, it was recently republished on the 6th March 2014.  Although fictional, this book is based on a true story.  Philip Paris has also written ‘Orkney’s Italian Chapel’, which is non-fiction.

In January 1942 over 500 Italian prisoners of war arrived on the Orkney island of Lamb Holm.  They were given the enormous task of building several causeways in order to protect the British Navy.  To the men it felt like a life without much hope.  They just wanted the war to end quickly so that they could go back to their families.

Then one day things started to change.  Padre Giacomo arrived bringing with him some much needed hope for the future of the men, but especially for Domenico Chiocchetti who was a talented artist.  Domenico had come up with the wonderful idea of building a chapel.  In order to fulfil his dream he needed to convince the British to allow him to build it and this is where Padre Giacomo was a great help to him.  No one knew the full extent of Domenico’s vision and they were left in awe at his creation.  The building of the chapel brought many of the men together as they all wanted to help.

I thought this book was absolutely amazing, a truly fascinating story which has been well researched by the author.  It is a part of history which everyone should know about.  I really felt for the prisoners of war.  Yes, they were treated very well in comparison to others but they were stuck there away from their loved ones, not knowing when or if they would ever see them again.

‘The Italian Chapel’ is a beautiful but heart-breaking love story and I would wholeheartedly recommend this book to everyone.  It will stay with me for a long time to come and I really hope to visit the Italian Chapel one day.

I give this book 5 out of 5.


Two very lucky people have the chance to win a copy of ‘The Italian Chapel’.   To enter just tell me why you want to read this book.


Terms and Conditions

This competition is open to UK residents only.

The closing date is 11:59 p.m. on the 8th June 2014.

Winners will be notified within 7 days and their details will be passed on to Black and White Publishing who will send out the prizes.


Good Luck! 🙂

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5 thoughts on “‘The Italian Chapel’ by Philip Paris + Competition

  1. I love fiction that’s been based on a true story. This sounds like a wonderful book full of history and art. The cover is pretty too! Great review! I would really like to read this book!


  2. I would like to read, The Italian Chapel, the title is so romantic sounding. The building of the chapel in Orkney sounds fascinating.I plan to write a memoir set in Scotland so this would be fascinating reading for me, particularly as it is a true story set in the same time period.


  3. I’ve visited that chapel on Orkney, Sonya, and interesting someone has written a novel about it. I’m not a Christian but was very moved at what those men had managed to create with quite basic materials.


  4. Joanne Gaylor on said:

    I love stories which are set on Scottish islands as island culture is so different to that of a mainlander like me. A little glimpse into the life and history of Orkney sounds great.


  5. Thanks for entering this competition. The winners have now been notified and their details sent to the publisher.

    Sonya x


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