Book: Kirsten McKenzie - The chapel at the edge of the world

By admin
17 September 2010

In 1940 a widening global conflict is finally felt in the villages on the shore of Italy’s Lake Como.

Emilio and others are conscripted and shipped off to wage Mussolini’s war in North Africa.

The campaign is a hopeless folly.

They’re taken as prisoners of war to a windswept island in the Orkneys, north of Scotland.

Back in Italy ­Emilio’s childhood sweetheart, Rosa, works and waits, sustained by what she thinks is love but torn by indecision over her commitment to her ­absent fiancé.

The misery of war casts an ever darkening shadow.

This debut novel evokes the ­solitude of men who, trapped in the com­pany of other POWs, long for freedom lost and lovers hopefully still waiting far away.

The makeshift chapel built by the Italian POWs still stands on the ­island, according to cover notes, ­emblematic of the novel’s theme of human resilience.

The chapel at the edge of the world by Kirsten McKenzie

John Murray, R184

Rating: 3/5

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