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The Jukebox Queen Of Malta

The Jukebox Queen Of Malta

A Novel

The Jukebox Queen of Malta is an exquisite and enchanting novel of love and war set on an island perilously balanced between what is real and what is not.
It's 1942 and Rocco Raven, an intrepid auto mechanic turned corporal from Brooklyn, has arrived in Malta, a Mediterranean island of Neolithic caves, Copper Age temples, and fortresses. The island is under siege, full of smoke and rubble, caught in the magnesium glare of German and Italian bombs.
But nothing is as it seems on Malta. Rocco's living quarters are a brothel; his commanding officer has a genius for turning the war's misfortunes into personal profit; and the Maltese people, astonishingly, testify to the resiliency of the human spirit. When Rocco meets the beautiful and ethereal Melita, who delivers the jukeboxes her cousin builds out of shattered debris, they are drawn to each other by an immediate passion. And, it is their full-blown affair that at once liberates and imprisons Rocco on the island.
In this mesmerizing novel, music and bombs, war and romance, the jukebox and the gun exist in arresting counterpoint in a story that is a profound and deeply moving exploration of the redemptive powers of love.
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  • Simon & Schuster | 
  • 368 pages | 
  • ISBN 9780684867427 | 
  • August 2000
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Read an Excerpt

Chapter One: Buy Lace -- Save Malta

They had names for the wind, for the different gusts and breezes that blew across the island. There was a wind that brought rain in October, and that was good, relief from the heat and the dust and the merciless sun that beat down through the long, torrid summer. But there were other winds, less welcome. The worst was the xlokk, which began in the Sahara and blew across the sea, picking up moisture and bringing hot, humid weather that sucked the breath from your lungs and brought on lethargy, inertia, frayed nerves.

When Rocco was told he was being sent to Malta, he recognized the name, Malta, but... see more

About the Author

Nicholas Rinaldi
Photograph by Stephen Rinaldi

Nicholas Rinaldi

Nicholas Rinaldi is the author of three previous novels (Bridge Fall Down, The Jukebox Queen of Malta, and Between Two Rivers) and three collections of poetry. His work has been widely reviewed and earned many awards in the United States and abroad. With his wife, Jacqueline, he currently resides in Connecticut.




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