In a world where everyone has something to say, Malchus Hemmings keeps silent. His alcoholic father has no patience for his mute son and throws Malchus out of the house at only five years of age. The lad adapts to life on the streets of 19th Century Philadelphia—and survives by scrounging and begging. He neither seeks nor welcomes companionship until four years later when he is faced with a choice.
After stumbling into the crude living quarters of two orphan boys during a storm, he is offered a bed for the night. In an instant, the young Hemmings is drawn to the charismatic “Darby”, who is two years older and takes his inability to speak in stride. Jim, a sullen ten year-old, grudgingly accepts the newcomer into their partnership.
Life becomes a series of ups and downs as Hemmings learns the art of thievery from his companions. He suffers abuse from other street children, murderous gang leaders, and his own father who seems to lurk in every shadow. Malchus longs to be forgiven of God, but is held back by his burden of sin. When the chilling hand of death strikes a severe blow to the young man, his fragile faith falters and Hemmings comes to the end of himself.
With both his soul and life on the line, Malchus realizes his desperate need for a rescuer.
**I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review. All opinions expressed are my own.**
With a unique voice, Madeline Brock continues her Upward Way Chronicles with a new character, Malchus.
Malchus is a novel that takes readers to the slums of Philadelphia with a cast of characters who are both needy for physical things, but also spiritual. The story is simple but has a strong message of reprentence and salvation. I enjoyed getting to know Malchus and found him to be a very unique character. It isn’t often that we come across characters in fiction that are unable to speak. This was handled quite well and played strongly into Malchus’s character.
As far as the plot, the story felt quite episodic. While most of the time I didn’t mind, I did miss a bit of the complexity a more developed plot line would lend to a novel.
Malchus was a light and quick read with some good messages tucked into it’s pages.
About the Author:
Born and raised in northwest Ohio, Madeline Brock is the oldest of five children. She grew up running around barefoot, chasing down barn cats, and making up adventures for her younger siblings. For Madeline, writing stories grew naturally out of an early love of reading. The precocious author finished writing her first chapter book when she was nine and has been writing ever since.
After graduating from high school, she moved to a Native American reservation in New Mexico where she currently works with the Navajo people. She is passionate about mission work, her family, and the Lord.