The Malta Independent 8 December 2021, Wednesday

Things that happen to ‘normal’ family

Noel Grima Saturday, 16 October 2021, 12:23 Last update: about 3 months ago

‘Ir-ragel li gie mal-lejl’. Author: Alfred Massa. Publisher: Horizons / 2021. Pages: 145pp

The book is set in vintage Alfred Massa territory - a plain lower middle class family living, from the details one gleans, in the southeast area of Malta. A perfectly normal family but one where the head of the family has died, leaving a grieving wife and two children about to become grown-ups.

The catalyst of the change is a homeless vagrant - a mix between an Italian and a German, not a dark-skinned migrant saved from the sea - who the widow, out of pity, takes in and employs him to replace her dead husband and take care of the field she and her husband owed and which was being neglected.


Then the girl feels new stirrings and changes her lifestyle. The ordered and ordinary life left in heritage by the dead husband disintegrates.

Many may think the book is as improbable as the names of the protagonists - Bettina, Tommaso and Kristina - but the book hides a mystery that is almost fully revealed at the end.


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