Melita


Fiction - Social Issues
165 Pages
Reviewed on 07/20/2020
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

Gill was born in Edinburgh, Scotland and immigrated to Adelaide, South Australia in 2004 with her husband and two daughters. Gill has a Social Work background and currently works in a corporate role in the field of Child Protection. Gill has a background in managing and understanding trauma, violence and sexual assault which are prominent themes in her debut novel Hidden From View (a tale of power and control as well as six degrees of separation).

The chosen Seven was inspired by the real life event - the Lindt cafe siege in 2014, Gill wanted to tap into the psychology behind how different personality types react in a hostage situation and demonstrates how a life review can often change people. One man holds the power over a group of strangers who all react in different ways. Is it down to the survival of the fittest or does fate decide ?

Melita is a novel about a mother and daughter who become estranged and the story unfolds with the backstory of how family patterns become entrenched and repeated. Unless Emily and her mother can break the cycle, the future generations well being will be compromised…

    Book Review

Reviewed by Deborah Lloyd for Readers' Favorite

Life in Saint Paul’s Bay, Malta in 1967 felt stifling for sixteen-year-old Melita. She lived in a male-dominated society, in a family where her father and brothers held the power. When Ross Macdonald came into her life, she found the love and affirmation she had been seeking. Fast forward to 1990 – Emily, Melita’s daughter, was engaged to the love of her life, Troy. She and Melita had been living in Edinburgh, Scotland since she was a baby. Melita held many secrets, including who her father was. Melita was often cold and distant from her daughter, and she continued to be that way until the present time. When Emily and her family moved to Vancouver, Canada, the physical separation only magnified the emotional distance. In Melita, author Gill D. Anderson developed an intriguing portrayal of how a strong-willed and wounded woman can affect those she loves the most.

The character development of both Melita and Emily is well-crafted; the reader can truly feel the pain each one suffered throughout the years. In a similar way, the author portrays other characters, such as Ross, Eddie, and Catherine, in fascinating ways. How people respond to being deeply hurt by those who love them is thought-provoking and often heartrending. The story is told in an engaging, easy-to-read way. Each chapter moves from past times to more current times in a smooth manner. Adding the coronavirus pandemic and how it is affecting family relationships is another compelling aspect. Author Gill D. Anderson has penned an interesting novel in Melita. Melita is an unforgettable character in an unforgettable book.

Chillonlake

I knew this would not be a feel-good story, so was prepared for how bitter Melita becomes. It is a contemporary study in the formation of a personality, which I find fascinating. At the start I appreciated learning about Malta and its culture of decades past, how the younger generation might feel there. I felt the author let her characters explain instead of show their attitudes, but then Melita pulled me into her story, shifting between time periods, demonstrating how we are often doomed to repeat what we didn’t like in our parents and our formative years, passing aspects of our own childhood down through the years, affecting our relationships...ability to love others as well as ourselves. The story might enlighten you about personalities you just can’t understand, and it might soften your resentment toward someone you feel doesn’t treat others like they should. The mother-daughter dynamic in this book is painful that way, yet in the end you come away with understanding. The author has in-depth professional knowledge, so writes with insight. Her story also brings you to 2020 with its realities that are “like a science fiction movie...”. Makes the point that everything can turn on a dime so the time is ripe to work things out with someone in your life, no matter how imperfectly.

Nicola Sinclair

Wow!! This is the third book I have read by this author and she certainly doesn’t disappoint!! The diversity of each of the books is amazing and they are always so gripping but you just don’t want to put them down. This story has an interest that you just want to find out what is going to happen next. Such easy reading and great enjoyment. Looking forward to book number four

Anjali Mishra

A story about love, faith, care and devotion mixed with abuse, complications and bad relationships, this book is a delight for any reader any day of the week.
Melita by Gill D. Anderson is a novel that dissects various phases of life and tries to teach us the importance of love.
The plot revolves around two main characters, Emily and her Mother, Melita.
Emily was raised by a single mother with little knowledge of any other paternal relations at one point starts hating her mother for it.
Melita, on the other hand, has suffered a lot as a single mother which kind of becomes a reason of her bitterness.
In the beginning, Melita and Emily may seem like a dysfunctional family, but the reality is, love changes everything.
The plot moves from Emily leaving her mom and feeling the guilt of it to Emily finally coming in terms with her mother and realising that love cannot be materialised.
The way the book is written is just commendable and the describing of emotions and tension between the mother-daughter duo takes a form of reality at one point.
This book takes you on a journey to self-discovery of love, affection and care for your parents and your child.
Though Melita did suffer in the past from abusive or unfit partners, she grew Emily up well and Emily resenting her for that was the heartbreak in the story but the author picked up so well after that I have to say, it’s one of most beautiful and touching books I’ve ever read.
This book is a must-read.

Craig Hastings

An absorbing read with captivating characters told in period switching format. While some may feel it reads a little slow at the start, it quickly builds into a faster pace as you switch between different times in Melita’s lifetime. Several surprises await the reader as well as current world events being weaved into the story. For me, the focal point of interest is how many people restrict their own life and miss out on happiness because they fail to communicate fully or look at events from a different viewpoint or possibility. But it’s never just their loss.

Sharon Vine

Another brilliant emotion filled book from this author. It’s a fairly short book which is great as I didn’t want to put it down for a second once I had started reading it. The author has a remarkable way of writing characters so that you connect with them on some level. The characters are down to earth, this doesn’t make them boring, it means that they are complex, make mistakes and have emotions that reflect what happened years ago. If you are looking for a fantastic book with emotionally charged flawed characters, then this is the book for you.

Jade Maree

A Saturday morning read in the garden with the winter sun beaming down on me.

Fabulous work by Gill D Anderson. Very different from her previous works, Hidden from View and The Chosen Seven but a gripping and thought provoking read.

While many reviewers are commenting on the mother - daughter relationship theme, this book also spills over into how this relationship can affect our other relationships - with our fathers, partners, own children, friends, and most importantly - with ourselves.

Michael Falzon

This is an emotional rollercoaster - a study of the turbulent relationship between a single mother and her daughter.
The mother is intelligent but obstinate and thinks that everybody has wronged her - the daughter has to suffer the consequences of her mother's 'forma mentis'.
I found it unputdownable.

Lorraine Cue

Another great book by Gill D Anderson , throughly enjoyed Melita , Gill describes all the characters very well and you get a real in depth of their personalities , a sad but heart warming story of a mother and daughter who sadly lost communication with each other .... looking forward to more books from Gill D Anderson

Lyndsey Gallagher

Another absolutely fantastic story from this fantastic author; engaging and fabulously told.

A Powers

Excellent book with a great story about a mother and daughter stuck in a cycle of terrible relationships with their own parents. While the story might be about Melita, I enjoyed her daughter's perspective and the side stories of other characters and how all of their stories intertwined. Definitely worth the read.

Ila Golden


I was not sure what to expect from Melita going in, but oh my god was it an effective read.

At the centre of the story is a woman in a state of self-destruction and the fall out that causes for those around her, especially those trying to reach out and care for her. It has a few really powerful moments, and the tangling twists at the end feel like proof that no one is truly alone, that we are all caught up in each others lives, whether we wish to be or not.

This is certainly a story I won't soon forget.

Tiare Snow

Anderson delivers an intriguing story of a tense mother- daughter relationship. Intertwining familial generational traits handed down unknowingly, alcohol and drug misuse, domestic violence, and a pandemic; a myriad of realizations show themselves as the characters deal with both regret and personal growth.

As experienced in Anderson’s other books, an adventure can be expected.

Nancy LiPetri

I knew this would not be a feel-good story, so was prepared for how bitter Melita becomes. It is a contemporary study in the formation of a personality, which I find fascinating. At the start I appreciated learning about Malta and its culture of decades past, how the younger generation might feel there. I felt the author let her characters explain instead of show their attitudes, but then Melita pulled me into her story, shifting between time periods, demonstrating how we are often doomed to repeat what we didn’t like in our parents and our formative years, passing aspects of our own childhood down through the years, affecting our relationships...ability to love others as well as ourselves. The story might enlighten you about personalities you just can’t understand, and it might soften your resentment toward someone you feel doesn’t treat others like they should. The mother-daughter dynamic in this book is painful that way, yet in the end you come away with understanding. The author has in-depth professional knowledge, so writes with insight. Her story also brings you to 2020 with its realities that are “like a science fiction movie...”. Makes the point that everything can turn on a dime so the time is ripe to work things out with someone in your life, no matter how imperfectly.

KL Laettner

Ah, I love this authors style and this one delivered again. I found this portrayal of human emotion and dynamics between generations to be raw, harsh, and sad. I ran the gamut with Melita from cheering her, to hating her, and in doing so, understood her much more. I found the serendipitous moments towards the end interesting, but came away from it as a whole as loving the conclusion and what it offered. I would recommend this and any others by this author. She hasn’t disappointed yet

Paula Jane Cormack

I was so excited and looking forward to reading the third book from this author. Oh my it did not disappoint. I could not put the book down. I connected at some level with each and every character within the book. A very emotional, passionate , thought provoking and most of all clever storyline. Gill D Anderson is a magnificent storyteller indeed.

Angel Medina

This was recommended by a friend and while it's not my typical book, I decided to give it a fair chance. I have to say I was impressed with the down to earth characters which added realism to the story. Unlike her other books though there are more emotional moments that will get you thinking and question how you live life. Some scenes are that deep. While I wasn't familiar with the setting of the story, that did not take away from the enjoyment.

Pennie

Melita is an engaging mother-daughter story that takes its readers from the rocky shores of Malta to the highlands of Scotland. The threads of the story are woven gracefully through the events that shape, break, and bind the two women over the years. Anderson captures their increasingly challenging relationship, the difficult family dynamics, and the catastrophic consequences of addiction and social judgment so splendidly that at moments I found myself wanting to reach through the page to correct or scold a character. Lovely read.

Ankita

Melita's transformation from a rebellious teenager to a bitter woman has been an enthralling journey. Gill D Anderson has meticulously narrated the impact our past has in shaping our personality. Unbeknownst to Melita, she had fallen victim to the very same familial traits that she detested. The way her mom tried to change her personality, without even realizing it, Melita, too, had started condemning her daughter for her innate nature. Melita by Gill D Anderson is a fascinating fiction that explores complex human emotions that appear quite straightforward on the surface. Nonetheless, once you analyze them carefully, these stem from various unresolved issues. Inclusion of COVID-19 virus' impact on our mindset is commendable. I highly recommend Melita to readers who enjoy complicated relationships, family drama, and psychological explanations of human emotions.

Frank

Melita is a novel about a complex relationship between a mother and daughter and the familial patterns that contributed to their bond being broken. Its a sad and poignant story but ends on a hopeful note which gives the reader hope. A great if emotional read.

Joel Epstein

"Melita" is the second novel by Gill D Anderson that I have read. I guess that makes me something of a fan. Well, that's fine with me, because both books were excellent.

Both "Melita" and her previous book, "The Chosen Seven" deal with the psychology of people crushed under stress. "The Chosen Seven" offers insights into the minds of hostages held by a religious fanatic in an Australian restaurant. "Melita" tells the story of a woman who grew up in a dysfunctional, repressive Catholic family, who runs away at 16, has an illegitimate child, and passes on much of the psychic pain she suffers to her daughter. Melita is misanthropic, caustic, and manipulative, a pathological liar who uses distortion and lies to manipulate her daughter. Midway through the book, the focus changes from Melita to her daughter Emily, and to Emily's efforts - ultimately successful - to resolve her conflicts and find peace.

Ms. Anderson has a fine touch for looking into the souls of people in struggle - so much so that one wonders how much of these characters are autobiographical. And, while Ms. Anderson's portrayal of Melita is overwhelmingly negative, the author succeeds in nonetheless engendering a strong sympathy for this tormented woman. It is a strange paradox, and one of the strengths of this novel.

Ronica Wahi

Melita and Emily have not shared a close bond and the ties have been weakened over the years, with the relationship having reached “an impossible stalemate”. With the mounting fear and restrictions on movement, regrets over what was not done to bolster their relationship seep in.
The story starts in July 1967 in Saint Paul’s Bay, Malta with sixteen-year old Melita Galea hoping to be unfettered of patriarchy and the conduct rules of ideological apparatuses – specifically, her family, religion, and school, and to become one among those women who would in the future subvert long-established gender hierarchies. Her dissatisfaction with the limitations on herself is transposed onto the place itself, which she finds “godforsaken”.
Tragically, the hopes are dashed as her fate leaves her stranded a single mother in a foreign place – Edinburgh in Scotland - with little support from anyone. Melita, who had once been so unhappy with the stilted life of her mother, ends up dragging an existence that makes her bitter and cold. The unfortunate series of events, added to the familial pattern that had been on repeat mode, negatively impacts the mother-daughter relationship. Though resentment brews on both sides, Emily tries justifying Melita’s offensive behaviour to herself and to others, but Melita continues to act in the same strain.
The novel oscillates between the past and the present, slowly unravelling things as they occurred. Various characters are introduced who are shaped well. The entire action is spread across locations – Malta, Scotland, and Canada. As physical distance increases between Melita and Emily after the latter moves to Canada, the emotional distance grows.

Anderson deals with the psychology of Melita well. She had been very young, with half-formed ideas of feminism and power when her fate took a turn for the worse. Anderson shows how certain scars though invisible can remain unhealed and so last a lifetime, and in thus existing, can twist the life of not just the one at the receiving end of those scars. Melita adopts ways at self-preservation that her psychological make-up dictates to her. Melita both enrages the reader and evokes pity. Emily’s viewpoint too is explored well – she both resents and loves her mother, and she too, at certain points in her life, commits acts to spite Melita in order to gain attention.

Melita, as a teenager, had learnt from her neighbour Josie about the suffragette movement, and as a tribute to Emmeline Pankhurst had named her daughter “Emily”. The streak of feminism persisted, though Melita’s ideas remained half-formed. What she had understood in her young age is what she held on to, often equating not being too feminine with being a feminist and seeing not needing a man too as being a feminist. Though unable to live as she had hoped for, it cannot be denied that Melita is indeed a courageous woman for some of the decisions she takes, the sacrifices she makes, and the very way she manages to survive after and with what she endures.

The decisions, the traumas, and the apprehensions can be acutely felt, particularly considering that there are many emotionally charged passages, especially in the final pages. The everyday aspect of the language aptly suggests that the experiences and the relationship troubles are not so uncommon. To add to the authenticity, Anderson brings in a bit of Maltese, and the Edinburgh lingo and accent too. Though there are some twists and turns, the complete story is not too unique nor is the plot too unpredictable. But the novel wins in how it touches hearts, for it is deeply human.

There is friendship, love, yearning, betrayal, abandonment, tragedy, and death. There is sexual assault, and the sense of betrayal and distrust that such assault not infrequently brings when it comes from the one you love. There is regret and a sense of irrevocable loss as some characters reach ripe ages and dwell on the actions not taken to sort their lives out. Readers who like to read emotional stuff, and delve deep into how tragic events can drastically impact futures will enjoy this book.

As the pandemic drives home essential truths about existence and instils fears of “running out of time”, Melita and Emily begin to introspect where they have faltered. As the Prologue was filled with the ardent hopes of young Melita, the Epilogue is filled with hopes of a better relationship of Melita with Emily. This day of hope is the Easter Sunday of April 2020, the day on which the narrative closes. In this new world faced, there are new things to look forward to, a new beginning to chase. The last line, as whispered by Melita, is a key takeaway of this tale:

“ “Carpe diem,” she whispered. It was now or never…”

Anthony



Sep 15, 2020 Anthony rated it it was amazing

Melita tells the story of a rather difficult person in Melita herself who knows how to ruin a good time at the drop of a hat but then shows kindness at odd times. I've known people like this in real life. It's funny. I sometimes think they just have bad timing or wounds they never got over or both. Melita's not a bad person but she is difficult which tends to drive people away. Her daughter Emily deals with this and wonders about her paternal side which Melita has never revealed to her. This story really draws you in and doesn't let you go. I think it also gives a deeper insight into human nature itself. Excellent!

Piaras Cionnaoith

Melita by Gill D Anderson is a wonderfully written and richly descriptive novel with brilliantly drawn characters and settings. The threads of storytelling are expertly woven in this family life fiction that guarantees the attention of the reader. Skillfully constructed and set against the backdrop of a dysfunctional family relationship between a mother and daughter, this book will have you turning the pages from beginning to end. In addition, the characters are drawn with great credibility and conviction.

The book description gives a sneak preview: ‘As the only child of a single parent, and with little knowledge of her father or her paternal relatives, Emily struggles with identity issues throughout her childhood. Her mother’s past and family history have always been shrouded in secrecy… Moving from Scotland to Vancouver, Emily hoped to start a new life and reinvent herself, but she unintentionally becomes estranged from her mother, Melita, during the process… The tension between Melita and her daughter that has built throughout the course of Emily’s life finally comes to the surface. Slowly, the truth about Melita’s harsh childhood growing up in Malta unravels, revealing the inevitable impact it had on Emily’s upbringing… Will the dysfunctional familial patterns remain entrenched forever? Or can Melita and Emily find a way to reconcile with the past?’

This was a fascinating and captivating read that had me immersed from the beginning. The story flowed from scene to scene with ease, and the author shows exceptional ability when it comes to storytelling. There are plenty of emotional and compelling moments in this page-turner that will take the reader on a mesmerizing journey. The story unfurls in small acts, at first feeling slight to touch, then building in emotional substance. Into the spaces between the words, the author breathes a pulsating intensity that rolls like a motion picture camera. With an abundance of imagery in the writing style, it makes you feel like you are right there in the story, and that’s something I look for in a good book.

Melita had every element a good story should have. An intriguing plot, attention to detail, but best of all fleshed out, well-written and well-rounded character development. It’s one of those stories that come along once in a while that makes you want to read it non-stop until you get to the end. I’m giving nothing further away here. And this, I hope, will only add to the mystery and enjoyment for the reader!

I’ll be looking forward to reading more from this author in the future. Highly recommended and a well-deserved five stars from me. I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book.

Nony

The novel Melita by the author Gill D Anderson is a story about a sixteen year old girl Melita Galea, a loner with no friends. She is the daughter of Natal and Carmel. Melita has been a feminist since childhood. The idea of men working and women taking care of the home is something Melita didn't like. Melita always felt like she didn't fit in with her male chauvinist family.