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My Father's House: AS SEEN ON BBC BETWEEN THE COVERS (The Rome Escape Line, 1)

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There were times when I was almost reading with my eyes closed because I couldn’t handle the suspense.

He wasn't alone in his efforts, aided by seven other brave souls who refer to themselves as 'the choir'. A masterwork… so urgent, so incredibly alive… A searing and beautiful example of storytelling’s infinite importance.

The Holocaust, the devastation of war and the plight of civilians unable to escape war-torn lands are always deeply affecting. Enormous thanks to Joseph O'Connor, Dreamscape Media (wonderful narrators Barry Barnes; Stephen Hogan; Barnaby Edwards; Laurence Bouvard; Aoife Duffin; Gertrude Toma; David John; Roberto Davide; Thomas Hill) and Netgalley for a copy of this astonishing story due out January 31, 2023.

Many of these obscene war criminals were – filing down the teeth of prisoners to pulp being interrogated during the day and tucking their kids in bed at night. Such a small area had it's limit of how many people could be hidden so with the help of brave individuals from all walks of life, clothes, food, medicine, papers, and money were gathered continually to allow thousands to flee to refuge in the countryside surrounding Rome and then on to safer havens. Thank you to Dreamscape Media LLC for allowing me to listen to the audiobook of My Father’s House by Joseph O’Connor through Netgalley in exchange for my honest and unbiased review. It also sheltered escaped POWs, Jews, and other fugitives, who were hidden and then smuggled to safety. The book alternates between that time period and twenty years later as those who aided in the escapes are interviewed by PBS.The book is based on the true story of Monsignor Hugh O’Flaherty who, along with others, risked his life to smuggle thousands of Jews and escaped Allied prisoners out of Italy. The patterning of narrative, commentary, narrative etc, worked well to begin with but became repetitive by the halfway point. In a narrative that shifts from 1943 and the future, we are given insights and experiences of the period through the perspectives in the 1960s of the widely disparate and fascinating cast of the Choir, that included the likes of Sir Guy D'Arcy Osborne, the wily John May who can get his hands on almost anything, the beautiful and grieving Contessa Landini and 40 year old singer and diplomat's wife, Delia Kiernan. I also enjoyed the dialogue in the book, wjhich often has an natural, snappy quality, and O'Connor has a great turn of phrase ('If I backed the tide it wouldn't come in, ‘if he was a banana he'd peel himself’).

From the acclaimed author of Star of the Sea comes a riveting, emotionally acute novel of resistance and rescue during the Second World War as an Irish priest prepares a daring mission in Vatican City from under the noses of the Nazis.A small band of unlikely friends led by a courageous Irish priest is drawn into deadly danger as they seek to help those seeking refuge. This was a game played out against the Nazi oppressor and through The Monsignor and his band of loyal friends, they managed to save thousands of Jews and Allied trapped soldiers. This annoys not only the nazis but also incurs the wrath of the Vatican, worried about their neutral status.

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