Book Reviews

Alexander Waugh

“…..a thrilling, tense and heart-wrenching family drama with all the characteristics of a great nineteenth century novel. You simply can’t put it down. The book is a stunner.”

Martin Bell

“The Innkeeper of Taunton has done it again. Kit Chapman has woven in words a richly sourced tapestry of his family’s history. It is no ordinary family, and its dark side is as compelling as its sunlit uplands.”

Rosie Boycott

“This is a brilliant family saga which reads like an exciting novel : intrigue, love and passions intermingle throughout the story of the Chapman family and the Castle Hotel. A truly great read.”


Jonathan Meades

“All families have skeletons. The Chapmans require more than a mere cupboard to contain theirs…. Suicides, shame, inter-generational warfare, jealousy, betrayal…. Kit Chapman is one of England’s greatest hoteliers and the most polished of men. Here he strips himself of all sophistication and shows himself to be a truly potent and elemental writer whose every measured page makes one wince, whose every revelation is harrowing.”

Jonathan Meades

Julian Fellowes

“In his marvellous My Archipelago, Kit Chapman explores the multi-coloured, twisted threads of his own relations, and describes the backdrop to his own extraordinary childhood – filled equally with chaos, eccentricity and love.”

Julian Fellowes

Other reviews of My Archipelago

“Kit Chapman is a hotelier, a lover of literature and music, and strong voice in the councils of the British hospitality and tourist trade. In a quiet moment in his Aegean retreat (the eponymous archipelago) he began an investigation of his family, with predictable results – inopportune loves, strange deaths, bitter rivalries, erotic perversities, fortunes won and lost, even unto his own parents’ generation and immediate family. Chapman makes the most of a savage family saga that enables him to address some pressing personal issues in a book that strips himself and his family bare. After all the babble, he ends with the solace of a blessed, religious silence.” The Times, 16th October 2010

“Every now and then a quite extraordinary new book is published. My Archipelago is just so, a book so consuming it purges the reader of all emotions, it encompasses tragedy, comedy and an all powerful love story but above all it’s twists and turns astound and, at times, shock the reader. A quite exceptional book, that will survive the current generation and could even become a “Forsyte Saga” type epic that is performed in the next century, offering a detailed insight into previous times and cultures.” Brearley

“Everyone who has read Kit Chapman’s My Archipelago begins by saying how well written it is. Kit has a remarkable ability to describe people and places so vividly that they come alive. People, conversations, situations and rows are communicated in such a way that you are there in the room. Along with this goes a fascinating and wide ranging family saga. Everyone who has read it simply concludes that it is brilliant.” Peter Judd

“A wonderfully engaging book that grips the reader’s imagination from the start. An emotional and deeply moving account of a family torn apart by love, loyalty and the stresses of running a family busisness. Kit Chapman beautifully captures the warmth and magic of the Aegean… A truly enjoyable and moving book.” Lena W