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! 🙂