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Reviewed by Rebecca McLafferty for Readers' Favorite
A most captivating story unfolds within the pages of Malchus, Upward Way Chronicles, Book 2. Author Madeline Brock does a phenomenal job of getting into the mind of the main character who cannot speak. Growing up as a young homeless boy in a poverty stricken region of Philadelphia is an eye-opener and heart-breaker. A boy without a voice cannot defend himself. Also, since he cannot speak or otherwise communicate a name, he has no identity. While Malchus grows up, he bounces from one unlikely friend to another, and from one dilemma to another. He endures deplorable living conditions, all the while yearning for acceptance and the love he has never experienced.
Malchus often finds himself in unfortunate situations as the result of his unending quest for approval and acceptance. As he grows older, he learns there is a better world than the one he has known. It is commendable that his harsh childhood left him with sincere compassion for others and keen insight into their feelings and backgrounds. A preacher’s act of kindness kindles a flame that eventually ignites Malchus’ search for God and the missing purpose of his life.
Madeline Brock researched the region well and depicts various levels of society with vivid realism. During one scene, Malchus accompanies his companion, Jim, to a high society ball. While Malchus acts as Jim's mute valet, the perceptions of people toward him are perhaps as telling in that day as they are today. This book is an entertaining read, but also provides keen insight into lives of disadvantaged and disabled persons.