Book Review: The Bishop’s Bedroom

By Jodi Truglio — April 07, 2020


The Bishop’s Bedroom

By Piero Chiara: Translated By Jill Foulston

The story begins during the summer of 1946, World War Two has come to an end, a man in his thirties is now free and unattached. As a result he finds himself putting off work and sailing on Lake Maggiore in northern Italy, where grand houses stand.

Lured by its intrigue he soon drops anchor in the small, fashionable port of Oggebbio. There he meets Mario Orimbelli, the owner of a villa. He is invited into Orimbelli’s home for dinner and introduced him to his wife and widowed sister-in-law. 

He learned his host recently returned to Italy following his time in the army in Africa. After enjoying a good meal and a pleasant conversation Orimbelli invites the man to stay in what was once the bishop’s bedroom.

Always a bit suspicious of his host, the two men embark on a carefree  journey of sailing along Lake Maggiore, but little does the man know his journey will end in tragedy, by revealing long lost secrets, murder and suicide. 

I found myself struggling to connect with these characters, specifically the narrator of the story, about whom little to no information is ever revealed, not even a name. The Bishop’s Bedroom is a well written psychological thriller, one that is impossible to put down until it’s grand finale. 


Courtesy Image: New Vessel Press

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