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

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

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

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But Hauptmann's net begins closing in and the need for a terrifyingly audacious mission grows critical.

Despite the fact that this is the story of darkness that lurks therein, ultimately, it’s a story of hope. With beautiful prose and vivid imagery, author Joseph O' Connor has done a superb job of transporting the reader to Nazi-occupied Rome. They recount their experiences by means of transcripts of interviews recorded twenty years after the events in question allowing the reader to hear the distinctive voices the author has created for them. This book is based on the true story of Monsignor Hugh O’Flaherty who risked his life to save smuggle thousands of Jews and escaped Allied prisoners out of Italy. This first book in the Rome Escape Line trilogy is inspired by the true story of Monsignor O’Flaherty, an Irish priest in the Vatican who helped smuggle Jews and escaped Allied prisoners out of Italy.I paired my reading with the superb full-cast narration - featuring Barry Barnes, Stephen Hogan , Barnaby Edwards , Laurence Bouvard , Aoife Duffin , Gertrude Toma , David John , Roberto Davide and Thomas Hill -that made for an immersive experience. Their choir practice sessions are a front for their efforts toward devising plans to aid escaped PoWs– a mammoth task that encompasses sheltering the escapees in safe houses, acquiring travel documents in false names and arranging transport to Switzerland- a task made more difficult on account of ruthless Gestapo officer Obersturmbannfurher Paul Hauptmann, who was aware of the existence of an Escape Line and was keeping a close watch on Monsignor Hugh O’Flaherty in hopes of catching him and /or his friends at the right moment. It also sheltered escaped POWs, Jews, and other fugitives, who were hidden and then smuggled to safety. It is hard not to be captivated by his presence in this hugely satisfying book, from its explosive beginning to its bittersweet end.

His torture chambers are housed in the former German Cultural Institute, “his favoured interrogation tool is the blowtorch”.The final chase scene has a cinematic quality with high stakes and increasing tension and reminded me of Donald Sutherland in ‘don’t look now,’ with the dark alleys, water and piazzas at night. I was mighty disappointed by Shadowplay but with My Father's House he is back to his storytelling best. The glimpses of his human side are shocking, alongside his brutal behaviour and casual violence, while you feel his obsession with O’Flaherty and the mind games he uses against him, highlight O’Flaherty’s essential strength.

Would the abstractions they planned be enough to keep SS Officer Hauptmann distracted long enough to accomplish The Rendimento? The Holocaust, the devastation of war and the plight of civilians unable to escape war-torn lands are always deeply affecting. There are a number of heroic locals committed to making the Nazi’s malignant presence as difficult as possible. I appreciate stories that shed light on that era, even more so when I’m learning something new from them. O’Connor is on stellar form with this ensemble thriller… while the story’s inbuilt tension urges you on, it’s the sheer vigour of O’Connor’s beautifully turned phrases that really makes the book sing… an expert storyteller.

Describing his first encounter with his future employer and fellow member of the choir, Sir D’Arcy Osborne, in a Soho nightclub frequented by gay men: ‘So Sir D’Arcy’s in one midnight with a couple of his old school muckers and they’re larking about with the drag boys. At great risk to themselves and family, some Romans helped escaped Allied prisoners and Jews, providing train tickets in false names, which helped them flee to Switzerland.

The countdown to the Rendimento adds further suspense and tension, and I like the way the author almost draws this out (in a good way) as you’re almost holding your breath and when it comes you are willing them on, but so afraid for them. During the nine-month occupation of Rome, eighteen hundred Roman Jews were deported to the death camps. His home is Vatican City, the world's smallest state, a neutral, independent country within Rome where the occupiers hold no sway.Thank you to Dreamscape Media and NetGalley who provided me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.



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