Book Reviews

1) Stories My Parents Told Me – Tales of Growing Up in Wartime Malta.

“Rupert C. Grech’s Stories My Parents Told Me is a lovely collection, based on stories his parents handed down of Malta during the period of World War II. Rupert has conveyed the stories with skill and charm. They make for a very engaging read and one learns about Malta in the process. Through tales about dolls, grapes, a ‘house without rent’ and four others, the reader feels immersed in Malta – its folklore, its history and culture. Through these stories, told with enormous affection, we experience the backdrop of war and suffering but also the foreground of the human spirit, family life and the unexpected. Religion, social divisions, ‘Empire Day,’ memorable individual characters (including a ‘Quasimodo type’), lampuki, prickly pears, Gozo, local music bands, Dun Ġorġ and tal-Mużew, ghosts . . . and, of course, emigration, all feature in the tapestry that has been so finely woven by the author. Like Rupert Grech, I was very fortunate to have parents who told stories from their past, in my Maltese father’s case, stories of Malta and of the war. I highly recommend Rupert’s book to the Maltese in Malta and those who settled overseas – as well as the many visitors to Malta who wish to learn about its people, history and culture” – Barry York, Ph.D., OAM; Author of The Maltese in Australia and Historian, Museum of Australian Democracy.

“Charming stories full of nostalgic details which make not only for an enjoyable read, but are an important preservation of daily life in mid-20th century Malta. I very much enjoyed this book”- Internationally  acclaimed film director Rebecca Cremona

“An excellent read. Well written, informative, and amusing. I enjoyed this book immensely. I have given 5 stars because of my enjoyment, and I KNOW my elderly Dad will enjoy it too” – Jan Bayes (Amazon.com)

“Your book was a wonderful interpersonal account of wartime Malta! I started reading and was thoroughly enjoying the stories…realising that this experience was going to be short lived. I had to force myself to put the book down and pick up at intervals over a couple of days to fully enjoy and reflect on the stories! I hope this book was just a teaser of further stories to come! – AnnaDee (Amazon.com)

“I think you are a very good raconteur and have very obviously good writing skills. I enjoyed reading your stories, some of which were very moving. So you have the ability to achieve a strong effect on your reader” – Mark A. Sammut, Writer and columnist, Malta Times.

” What a pleasant surprise! Rupert Grech is a very good story teller about wartime Malta. The stories are very touching and sometimes funny. When I started I could not stop reading” – Censu Fenech.

“My name is Daniel and I live in South Australia to a Maltese born father, Michael Grech. I was recently researching a planned holiday to Malta this year and I was looking up Maltese travel books and somehow managed to stumble on your book, “stories my parents told me”, and I was able to easily purchase a copy through the book depository. I am writing to thank you for sharing your families stories. My father immigrated to Australia when he was 7 in 1954 and sadly lost his father when he was only 14. I never had a close relationship with my Nana, and she has since passed. Your stories have made me appreciate what it would have been like through the war in Malta. I most enjoyed the story of the grape stealing. I related to your grandfather, Carmelo’s reaction, as I myself am a police officer and also a protective father. I have now passed the book on to my daughter, who is 11 years of age. She is enjoying the book and also gaining insight to the country we will visit this September. Thank you, I truly appreciate you sharing your stories, which have somehow answered questions I have about my families past” – Dan Grech.

2) Musings and Mutterings of a Maltese Misanthrope

musings-and-mutterings-front-cover_1“Musings and mutterings indeed, but you will need to read this little book yourself to decided whether the epithet “misanthrope” is apt. This is a short read, memoirs of sorts, inspired by the author’s journey into the past inspired by listening to old vinyls whilst sipping a glass of red. This book had me chuckling out loud on more than one occasion. The author led me on to muse (but I have refrained from muttering) about the impact of music in modern life – it’s near ubiquity makes it part of the construction of all of our autobiographical memories. “Misanthrope” does present a pleasing alliterative title but in my opinion it’s a little harsh. A really enjoyable little book” – Marjanna (Amazon.au)

“Thoroughly enjoyable. All these stories evoke real life situations. A great read” – Kath Compton, Public Service Medal recipient.

“Love these stories. They always make me laugh” – Louise Taylor, director of Preschool Education.

“Loved the stories. They capture that quirky Maltese sense of humor and occasion, which is amusing and entertaining. Anyone with Maltese parents will instantly connect with the anecdotes captured in this book” – Stevon Orlando, artist, education executive.

“Very entertaining stories. They have a bit of everything in them: history, comedy, love, families. A very pleasant read” – Sandra McManus, avid reader.

“I bought this book to read on a plane journey. My one mistake was to open the book for a look prior to packing for my journey. Once I opened the book and read a page, I couldn’t put it down. I sat and read the whole of it, cover to cover.
I found the writing quite fluid, very entertaining, like sitting having a chat. Thoroughly enjoyable. Highly recommend it- Jan Bayes

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