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Reviews

  • A tense, passionate and deeply atmospheric novel about a community in wartime - and two defiant hearts. Orkney was so perfectly realised, too, that I almost felt windblown. I loved it all the more so for having read it during lockdown: Caroline's beautiful transported me entirely to another time and land

    Susan Fletcher
  • A powerful Second World War love story. As tensions grow between the Italian PoWs and the Orkney men, the scene is set for a dramatic reckoning. Lea writes beautifully of island life and love, and the sacrifices that both demand

    The Times
  • Atmospheric, heart-wrenching, evocative - this is a gorgeously written story about the scars we carry with us, and how they can be overcome

    Gytha Lodge
  • Uses the true story of the building of the chapel on Orkney by Italian prisoners during the Second World War to fashion a fast-moving and very touching story of sisterly devotion and passionate love

    Adèle Geras
  • Confirms Lea as a highly original and inventive writer

    Sunday Times
  • A story of innocents caught up in the machinery of war. Exquisitely researched, beautifully told, this tiny corner of Scotland came alive

    Mary Beth Keane
  • Myth, legend, fear and superstition all play a part in this intensely atmospheric novel

    Choice Magazine
  • A beautiful, heart-breaking tale of grief, love and the bond between sisters. I read it in a day, desperate to know what would happen

    Louise Hare
  • Lea deftly taps into an age-old theme: suspicion and mistrust of outsiders. Woven throughout The Metal Heart is the potent reminder that there are always innocents caught up in the cruel, unforgiving machinery of war

    Herald
  • A stunning World War Two novel, unlike any other

    Sun

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