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Lina Brockdorff – Serenades Amidst the Sirens – €13

“On the evening of 10 June 1940, a Monday, we were listening to the radio, as usual. I can hear it still, loud and clear; Mussolini’s defiant voice, tempered with an assurance of victory, declaring war on France and on Great Britain. This news immediately hit home, for that also meant us Maltese, and we were devastated. I was then almost ten, and though I could not fully grasp what this meant I was terrified too, without knowing quite what it was that I was so afraid of. All this meant nothing to my three siblings, all younger than me. What would we do? Though Malta was not prepared enough for war, war was now upon us…’’

Many books have been written about Malta’s ordeal in World War II, but none quite like this one, from the perspective of a girl growing up as a bewildering world around her seems to fall to pieces. As her father’s soothing serenades are drowned out by screeching air raid sirens, only unwavering faith and courage pull her family – and country – through.

Lina Brockdorff is an accomplished Maltese author, with several published novels and collections of short stories, many of which were also broadcast in Malta and Australia. Her light, and keenly observed writing and her heart-warming sense of humanity have delighted and captivated many thousands of readers. The Maltese language original, published as Sireni u Serenati, won the ‘’Best Novel – Non Fiction’’ prize, awarded by the National Book Council of Malta in 2004.

Serenades web
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