The Malta Independent 8 December 2019, Sunday

Eroj – Mħabba u qlubija fis-Sette Giugno

Tuesday, 16 July 2019, 09:25 Last update: about 6 months ago

This new historic novel is being published to commemorate the centenary of the Sette Giugno riots. It shall help us remember the bravery of the Maltese people who earned the political autonomy which we enjoy today.

The title reflects the Maltese people, who were nothing less than heroes, as after many struggles, revolted in order to improve their social status.

The reader will soon be among the crowds waving the red and white flag during the protests, while confronting British rifles and sharp bayonettes. One shall be taking part in the angry riots which from the loud and troubled streets of Valletta, lead down to the mysterious underground secret passages which lie beneath this city.

Eroj is recounted through the eyes of two lovers. Since his childhood, Anġlu has sought to work in order to help his parents raise the family. And now that he has grown into a young adult and is employed as a dockyard worker, he finds himself part of Manwel Dimech's rebellious Xirka tal-Imdawlin. On the other hand Serafina, his girlfriend, comes from a somewhat higher class family, which supports Nerik Mizzi. She even works with the Francia family, one of the richest families on the island. Notwithstanding their love for each other, they have to struggle against the situation which divides their families, influenced by different political forces. In order to reach their political goals, some of these forces are doing their best to instigate the lower class workers to revolt. They take advantage of the precarious social situation dominated by unemployment, misery, bad health, lack of education, low wages, new taxes and most of all famine, due to the bad quality and high prices of bread.

Some are fighting to obtain a suitable Constitution which would give more power to the Maltese people to take part in the governance of their own country. Others want to be closer to Italy. Another group is seeking to remain aloof from the common people, while a great number of workers are fighting to at least manage to feed their families. But on Sette Giugno, as the second National Assembly meeting is in progress, all forces unite against the British government as riots break out in the streets of Valletta.

This novel is also the result of extensive research by the author as well as the recounts of  eye witnesses. Thus, the reader shall be able to follow the events step by step - events which led to the bloody riots of 7 and 8 June 1919. The novel has a historical  background and it keeps the right balance between romance and historic events. In this way, the reader will get to know what has really happened in a light and flowing manner. 

Above all, this book seeks to help the reader appreciate the democratic political system we enjoy today, which was earned by our forefathers who with great persistence, continuous perseverance and strong determination, fought till death to achieve it.

May we preserve today what these gallant men managed to achieve for us a hundred years ago.

This is Michael Cini's sixth novel. In his first book Preżenza - Inti Temmen fil-Ħares? the author brings the reader face to face with the ghost of a mother, who cannot yet rest in peace before someone uncovers how her young child had mysteriously disappeared many years before. A novel, which has recently been re-printed as a best-seller. On the 450th anniversary of the Great Siege of Malta, his second novel Ix-Xafra tad-Destin - L-Imdina 1565  leads the reader through the gates of history to join the Mdina cavalry and take part in a romantic adventure during the Great Siege. While on a totally different note from the previous two, his third novel Skjava...fil-ktajjen tal-imħabba exposes the reader to a sensual and erotic love story. An intimate relationship fuelled by emotional intrigue which, in order to survive, has to overcome unfaithfulness, domestic abuse... and lustful temptations! Then in 2017, to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the arrival of the Santa Marija Convoy, this author published Konvoj - Il-Ġrajja li naf jiena biss! Another historic novel, which blends together romance with the historic facts that took place all along this perilous journey. A journey featuring love, courage and victory which set sail from Scotland during which brave men and gallant heroes manage to save Malta from surrendering to the enemy, as they miraculously bring in vital supplies to the Grand Harbour. Cini's fifth novel L-Ewwel Preżenza - L-Imħabba tal-ħares ma tmut qatt is a prequel to his first novel Preżenza, issued on the 220th anniversary of Napoleon's invasion of Malta. This recounts the story of a young French soldier who falls in love with a beautiful Maltese farmgirl. But since he was murdered before he had fully enjoyed his girlfriend's love, his soul cannot rest in peace. So much so that he remains close to her to protect, provide and even love and caress her. But is it possible for such a beautiful girl like her to remain without a human lover for the rest of her life?

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