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Travel to Orkney with Caroline Lea

  • Submitted: 21st April 2021

Discover the Metal Heart of Orkney

Travel to Orkney with Caroline Lea – The Metal Heart is the new and wonderful novel by Caroline Lea. Recently the author has been inspiring everyone with a mini tour of  her literary setting- Orkney. So, with her kind permission, The BookTrail takes you back for a little wander and literary delights….

Histfic set on Orkney - The Metal Heart Caroline LeaHistfic set on Orkney - The Metal Heart Caroline Lea

Visit the literary locations in The Metal Heart

Orkney, 1940. Five hundred Italian prisoners-of-war arrive to fortify the remote and windswept islands. Some islanders are welcoming, others very hostile. When one women falls in love with one of the men, what will happen to both of them?

 

Travel to Orkney with Caroline Lea

Caroline Lea your literary guide to Orkney!

And now, let’s visit the setting of Orkney…Caroline it’s over to you…

You are in for a TREAT!!!

First…the main setting of the novel THE ITALIAN CHAPEL OF ORKNEY

Travel to Orkney with Caroline Lea

The Italian Chapel Orkney (c) Wikipedia

This is inspired by a true story of the Italians who built a small chapel on Orkney which you can still visit today. Oh and the author gives a lovely nod to the fantastic Orkney Library!

First of all, take a moment to look out to sea from Orkney and appreciate the very scenic surroundings!

Orkney landscape (c) Caroline Lea

Visit the literary locations in The Metal Heart

The other end of the #ItalianChapel, showing the incredible skill in creating the illusion of brickwork. It’s paint on plasterboard, but it looks just like stone. The hours of love that must have gone into this.

Orkney Chapel (c) Caroline Lea

Visit the literary locations in The Metal Heart

The sanctuary of the gorgeous #ItalianChapel that inspired my book. There are so many symbols of peace in the fresco – it’s worth zooming in to look more closely.

Italian chapel floor (c) Caroline Lea

Next, just look at the step outside the chapel. The tiles were salvaged from sunken WW1 vessels. I love the way that every detail of the #ItalianChapel has been so beautifully designed.

Visit the literary locations in The Metal Heart

Travel to Orkney with Caroline Lea

Orkney Chapel (c) Caroline Lea

Here, you can see the edifice the prisoners constructed over the front of the chapel. It’s made from concrete, intended for the wartime sea barriers, with scrap metal from sunken WW1 vessels. Conjuring light in the darkest of times.

If that’s not enough, then there’s the wonderful detail …

Discover the literary locations in The Metal Heart

Travel to Orkney with Caroline Lea

tyres or a font? (c) Caroline Lea

In this picture, the font was created from a car exhaust, covered in concrete. Hard to believe that’s possible. I love the idea of this artistic sleight of hand and such beautiful creativity born rising from dark circumstances.

Travel to Orkney with Caroline Lea

Lamps or beer cans? (c) Caroline Lea

These beautiful lamp holders in the #ItalianChapel were made from old beef tins.

Thank you Caroline!

And that, is just a taster of the wonderful setting and scenery that Caroline has created in her novel. In conclusion, quite simply, The Metal Heart is wonderful and I would urge you all to read it as soon as you can.

 

BookTrail Boarding Pass: The Metal Heart

Twitter:@CarolineleaLea  

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