The Dust of Melita by Clare Hawkins


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Frank Nixon, a raw 19-year-old army private, finds himself serving in Malta in 1940, which is about to endure the most prolonged and destructive assaults of its colourful and violent history. Soon aerial bombardments batter the small island and the defenders struggle to withstand the increasingly relentless attacks. Despite the dangers of life on the besieged island, Frank becomes fascinated by its history as a tiny strategic territory, for centuries at the mercy of powerful warmongers.

In the midst of the horrors and privations, Frank discovers both his vulnerabilities and his strengths, through the pain and pleasure of his love for a local widow and the increasing demands of his duties. As the siege becomes more brutal, the island population, threatened with the prospect of starvation or surrender, have their courage and resilience tested to the extreme as they await relief in the war-torn Mediterranean.

The Dust of Melita is a captivating historical fiction novel that takes readers on a journey through the turbulent history of Malta during World War Two, briefly interwoven with harrowing scenes from previous centuries and the lives of other ordinary people caught up in war and conflict.

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