September 1943: German forces occupy Rome. Gestapo boss Obersturmbannführer Paul Hauptman rules with terror. Hunger is widespread. Rumors fester. The war’s outcome is far from certain.
Diplomats, refugees, and escaped Allied prisoners flee for protection into Vatican City, at one fifth of a square mile the world’s smallest state, a neutral, independent country within Rome. 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.
Book 1 in the Rome Escape Line Trilogy, My Father’s House is a powerful, heartbreaking literary thriller based on the true story of Monsignor Hugh O’Flaherty, who risked his life to smuggle thousands of Jews and escaped Allied prisoners out of Italy under the nose of his Nazi nemesis. A deadly high-stakes battle of wits ensues in this astonishing, unforgettable story of love, faith and sacrifice, exploring what it means to be truly human in the most extreme circumstances.
Joseph O’Connor’s Star of the Sea was an international bestseller, a New York Times, Economist Notable Book of the Year, and a Sunday Times Number 1 bestseller. It won France’s Prix Millepages, Italy’s Premio Acerbi, the Irish Post Award for Fiction, the Nielsen Bookscan Golden Book Award, an American Library Association Award, the Hennessy/Sunday Tribune Hall of Fame Award, and the Prix Litteraire Zepter for European Novel of the Year. He is the author of nine novels and is the Inaugural Frank McCourt Professor of Creative Writing at the University of Limerick. Shadowplay was named Novel of the Year at the 2019 Irish Book Awards and was a finalist for the prestigious Costa Book Award.