My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Many thanks to Penguin Michael Joseph UK for an ARC copy of this beautiful story. All opinions are expressed voluntarily.
Oh, my heart, there is another way to love. Do not love the gift for what the gift is. Love the gift for Who it came from.Yasmin Mogahed
A heart-wrenching and mesmerizing tale of love and kindness amidst the II World War, Caroline Lea’s The Metal Heart left me with a lump in my throat. Hopeful, at the same time, heart-breaking, the author takes us to Orkney in the 1940s thru a sweeping tale of two sisters and their struggles and their hope and the love that is found in unexpected circumstances offering freedom and future.
Selkie Holm, an island in Orkney is home to the orphaned twins Dorothy and Constance. Bound by superstitious beliefs and folklore about the island Orcadians tend to leave the girls to their own choices. As the island is chosen as the POW camp for Italian prisoners, Dot and Con have no option but to allow the encroachment to their peace. Con’s struggle to overcome the trauma is haunting. The powerful writing by the author allows the reader to understand the deep-rooted fear that Con has to endure to move on and forward, to overcome her terror, and accept the strangers in their midst. But the war does bring strange bedfellows as Dot discovers love with Cesare, a prisoner in the camp whose pure soul offers a soothing balm to Dot’s heart.
Give away your love, freely and without expectation. Give it away, and soon your life will be filled with love, and you will have set others on the path of love and peace.John Robbins
Cesare’s character is utterly captivating, you can’t help but fall in love with the goodness of his heart and his delight in creating something out of the scraps of bits and pieces from shipwrecks. The Metal Heart reinforces belief in love and humanity, as the islanders accept these prisoners to their land and instead of ill-treating them allow them the leeway to build the chapel for their prayers. The characterization of Major Bates and John O’Farrell and even some of the villagers felt touchingly real.
Find beauty not only in the thing itself but in the pattern of the shadows, the light, and dark which that thing provides.Junichiro Tanizaki
Fans of historical fiction are gonna devour this novel, the evocative tale so compelling and utterly moving. With a suspense-filled ending, that I couldn’t help but read with dread in my heart, The METAL HEART is surely gonna leave you holding your heart in your hands!
Orkney, 1940. On a remote island, a prisoner-of-war camp is constructed to house five hundred Italian soldiers. Upon arrival, a freezing Orkney winter and divided community greets them.
Orphaned sisters Dorothy and Constance volunteer to nurse the men. Dot is immediately drawn to Cesare, a young man fighting on the wrong side and broken by war and destruction.
The soldiers spend their days building a secret barricade between the islands. By night, however, they construct a reminder of their native land – an exquisite chapel.
As tensions between the islanders and outsiders grow, the sisters’ loyalty is tested. Will Dot choose love, or family?
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