Wivenhoe based Clare Hawkins has her latest historical fiction novel acquired by Cahill Davis Publishing. The Dust of Melita is a historical fiction novel based in Malta during World War Two and follows the life of a British soldier stationed there. The book will be released on 7th July 2023.
The book, set in 1940, is based around Frank Nixon, a raw British army private stationed in Malta when Mussolini declares war on Britain. In spite of the dangers of life on the island, Frank becomes fascinated by the evidence of its history. His discovery of a cave containing ancient writings drives him to learn more. The bombardment of the island intensifies and the defenders struggle to hold off the relentless aerial attacks, while the civilians endure the bombs, trusting to the strength of their rock shelters and their religious faith. Soon the besieged island population is close to starvation and surrender. Against the backdrop of suffering and privation, Frank grows in experience and confidence, discovering the fragile joy of love, as well as his own potential.
Interwoven with Frank’s experiences are stories of Malta’s violent history. His otherworldly ‘encounters’ become the separate tales of a 16th century galley slave, a Napoleonic officer, a fugitive 9th century Christian family, a young woman trapped in the siege by the Turks, all past victims of war, invasion or occupation by alien forces.
Clare said this of having her novel signed “I am delighted that the publication of The Dust of Melita will let readers share in the imagined lives of ordinary people caught up in dramatic historical events.”
Cassandra Davis of Cahill Davis Publishing said that “The Dust of Melita is a captivating book and draws the reader in to what life must have been like in Malta during World War Two. The imagery of the book and Clare’s way with words makes you feel like you’re right there in Malta with Frank. I’m looking forward to working with Clare over the coming months to get this brilliant novel to publication.”
The Dust of Melita will be released on 7th July 2023 and will be available in both paperback and eBook.