Father Damien is a Catholic priest at Santa Maria Maggiorie in Bergamo Italy during World War II. He has witnessed the oppression and brutality that the German occupation has brought to his community. His primary concern is to shelter a handful of citizens who have sought sanctuary in his church. Among the elderly and unable to travel are seven young men who stay behind to protect their families. Father Damien and his force have the opportunity to confront Colonel Anton Fahn of the German regiment that attacked the sister city of Clusone to the north. They ransacked the village and have taken everything of value that they could carry on their way to Switzerland. Their detour to Bergamo to the south has disturbed his fellow officers. The Americans have landed in Genoa, Italy just six hours to the south west of Bergamo and there is not much time left for the Germans to complete their thievery. Father Damien organizes the resistance to the German’s encroachment on their town and prays for deliverance by the Americans.
‘Sanctuary’ by Terry W. Drake is a gripping novel, from the beginning full of action. I haven’t read many stories set in World War II , since it’s not my favourite historical era, but I found this book very interesting and I kept turning the pages to find out more. Father Damien was very likeable character and I’m very interested to see what will happen to him in the next instalment.