Father Salvator wa a simple, lumbering priest, a kappillan serving the poor in Valetta, when the Second World War came out of the blue skies to pound the island to dust in 1940. Now in the fragile safety of the catacombs revealed by a chance bomb he cared for the flood of homeless, sartving frightened people who sought shelter from the death that fell unceasingly from the sky. His story, and the story of Malta, id told in superbly graphic pictures of six days during the siege. Each of those days brought forth from the kapillan a message of inspiration to keep them going – the legendary tales of six mighty events of Malta’s history which shone throough the centuries and gathered them together in a fervent belief in their survival.
This most powerful of Nicholas Monsarrat’s novels is an achievement in two separate dimensions: as a sublime portrait of a humble priest who brought faith and hope to his people, and as the story of an island whose violent history began with the Poenicians and which suffered its most terrible agony in the Second World War.