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The Metal Heart Reviews

The Metal Heart by Caroline Lea

The Metal Heart

Caroline Lea

Score pending

2 reviews

Imprint: Michael Joseph Ltd
Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
Publication date: 29 Apr 2021
ISBN: 9780241423301

In the tradition of Captain Corelli's Mandolin, The Metal Heart is a hauntingly rich Second World War love story about courage, freedom and the essence of what makes us human during the darkest of times.

4 stars out of 5
Nick Rennison
25 Apr 2021

"confirms Lea as a highly original and inventive writer"

Twin sisters Constance and Dorothea, escaping a traumatic loss, exile themselves to a small and otherwise uninhabited island. To their refuge come Italian PoWs and their guards, sent to build fortifications against German U-boat attacks...

Difficulties grow between Orcadians and outsiders, and between the previously inseparable sisters, in a novel that confirms Lea as a highly original and inventive writer. 


4 stars out of 5
Antonia Senior
7 Apr 2021

"Lea writes beautifully of island life and love, and the sacrifices that both demand."

During the Second World War, Italian prisoners of war in Orkney converted two old Nissen huts into an extraordinary Catholic chapel. The ornate building is still standing on Lamb Holm, and has inspired this powerful love story by Caroline Lea...  Cesare builds his chapel and paints a Madonna who looks like Dorothy. But tensions are growing between the PoWs and the Orkney men and the scene is set for a dramatic reckoning between the twins and the men who love them. Lea writes beautifully of island life and love, and the sacrifices that both demand.