The Malta Independent 23 June 2024, Sunday
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Echoes of Malta’s past

Sunday, 9 June 2024, 09:00 Last update: about 16 days ago

Linda Peek’s new book explores family resilience during WWII

British author Linda Peek is in Malta to launch her book Malta: A childhood under siege, a compelling memoir of the childhood of her mother, Margaret Staples, in war-torn Malta during World War II.

Linda introduced her book to Maltese readers, in a poignant event supported by Fondazzjoni Wirt Artna and the High Commission of Malta in Canberra, at the Lascaris War Rooms, in Valletta. This historic site was specifically chosen for this event as it was there that her grandfather Sam Staples, as Garrison engineer, oversaw construction works.


The book vividly portrays the relentless bombardment and siege that Malta endured due to its strategic position in the Mediterranean. Linda's narrative skillfully interweaves historical events with personal stories, shedding light on the daily challenges, fears and triumphs of the Maltese people, showcasing their incredible resilience and unity.


Through the lens of her mother's vivid memories, Linda captures the essence of Maltese life during one of its most challenging periods. From the deafening sounds of air raids to the scarcity of daily necessities, the book provides readers with a firsthand account of the indomitable will of the Maltese people. The narrative pays tribute to the courage shown by civilians in wartime, especially the women and children who faced unimaginable hardship.

During the event, Linda shared "although my grandparents were not Maltese, they developed a connection with the people and the island itself. Their bond was so strong that when my grandfather suggested we evacuate to Egypt or South Africa, as many others were doing, my grandmother stood firm and refused to leave. She said, 'if the Maltese can take it, so can we'".


About the author

Linda Peek, born in the UK and having lived across the globe due to her husband's work as an Australian Diplomat, brings a rich tapestry of experience to her writing. With prior roles as a Food editor in Chile and as a blogger through her site Cafe Cat, Linda has continuously engaged with diverse cultures and history. Her global connections enriched her latest work, highlighting her family's survival and Malta's enduring spirit.

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