So You Think You Know Malta?

Non-Fiction - Historical
50 Pages
Reviewed on 11/27/2019
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    Book Review

Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite

So You Think You Know Malta? is a nonfiction history/memoir written by Trevor Stewart. Stewart is an author and retired military officer whose marriage to his Maltese wife led to their honeymoon in Malta. That time spent in Malta spurred his fascination with the country and its rich historical past. For those who are not familiar with the geographic location, Stewart provides maps and photographs of the island and its Mediterranean neighbors. He also discusses the convenience of its location for those living in the EU.

Stewart shares Malta’s history, starting with the first arrival of man in 5200 BC, and he discusses the shipwreck of St. Paul on the island and its effect on the islanders. Stewart discusses the French occupation and later establishment of Malta as a British Crown Colony, with an extended discussion of the effect of the British period on Maltese culture. Stewart’s book also gives the prospective tourist an eagle’s-eye view of the island with suggested places that highlight the rich culture and historical legacies that abound there. He shares his insights on coastal tours, boat trips and walking tours of the various forts and fortifications still surviving.

Trevor Stewart’s So You Think You Know Malta? is a deceptively slim volume that somehow manages to compress a full history of the island along with a competent travel guide and a biography of his wife. He does so in a well-written and appealing manner that kept me interested and engaged throughout my reading experience. I particularly appreciated the excellent photographs that appear throughout the book and found his wife Rosemarie’s story to be inspiring. And while I did have some knowledge of this fascinating island, I really didn’t know Malta, not by a long shot. Having read Trevor Stewart’s excellent guide, I do know a lot more. So You Think You Know Malta? is highly recommended.

K.C. Finn

So You Think You Know Malta? is a bite-sized work of abridged history, personal memoir and biographical writing about the history of Malta and its people. Author Trevor Stewart was a career soldier who met and married a Maltese woman and is now looking back over their life together and the country which he fell in love with the same way he fell for his wife. The work contains a potted history to give readers a flavor of how Malta came to be such a unique place with influences from other cultures, but also how a young woman growing up over several decades came to prosper and be so proud of her Maltese roots.

Sentimental and celebratory, anyone who loves visiting Malta or has Maltese links and relatives in their family is sure to enjoy this little tribute volume. A concise read, it does a good job of giving a succinct history of the more recent developments of the people and culture, whilst also keeping some gems and secrets for those who might be tempted to visit after reading it. Author Trevor Stewart makes a heartfelt tribute to his wife Rosamarie, and his story as a boy soldier touched my heart as it mirrored the experiences of my own father, who also lived in Malta for several years. All in all, So You Think You Know Malta? is a unique read because of its personal qualities, but it is sure to please readers who want both a memoir-style tale and some travelogue temptation in their lives.