Caroline Lea

The Metal Heart
  • The Metal Heart


    The sky is clear, star-stamped and silvered by the waxing gibbous moon.

    No planes have flown over the islands tonight; no bombs have fallen for over a year.

    Scotland, 1940.

    On a remote island, a prisoner-of-war camp is constructed to house five hundred Italian soldiers.
    Upon their arrival, the men are greeted by a freezing Orkney winter and a divided community.

    Orphaned sisters Dorothy and Constance volunteer to nurse the men in the camp. But while Con is wary of the men, Dot finds herself increasingly drawn to Cesare, a young man fighting on the wrong side, and broken by the destruction he's witnessed.

    Cesare and the other soldiers spend their days building a secret barricade between the islands. And by night, they construct a reminder of their native land - an exquisite chapel, constructed from Nissan huts and debris from the sea.

    But as tensions between the islanders and outsiders grow, the lives of these three people will be set on a collision course between family and love, and sacrifice and honour.

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

    Praise for Caroline Lea:

    'Enthralling' Stacey Halls, author of The Familiars and The Foundling

    'Fantastic' The Times

    'Memorable and compelling' Sarah Moss, author of The Times Book of the Year Ghost Wall

    'Intensely written and atmospheric' Daily Mail

    'Gripped me in a cold fist. Beautiful' Sara Collins, author of The Confessions of Frannie Langton

    'Brilliant' Daily Express

Caroline Lea grew up in Jersey and gained a First in English Literature and Creative Writing from Warwick University, where she now teaches writing. Her fiction and poetry have been shortlisted for the Bridport Prize, and The Glass Woman was shortlisted for the HWA Debut Crown.

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