Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Book Review: Malachi's Cove

Malachi's Cove
by Chris Brockman
Marigold Press, 1978, US
Hardcover, Literary Fiction, 48 pages
Review by Ruth Cox

The tale of Malachi's Cove, as told by author Chris Brockman, is of a Cornish girl, a young woman who possessed the height of stature in strength and fortitude. She was unstoppable in her plight to protect that which she felt she had earned to be hers. And now she felt this was her little cove, this place called Malachi's Cove by the people of the beach. For Malachi Trenglos had built his hut above and he and she had blazed the trail from the cliff to the sea.

Malachai, now called old Glos, had grown old and bent working the water for the gift of the sea and could do it no more. But fate had seen fit to grace him with a gem of a granddaughter who would toil the treacherous cove by day and by night to bring in the weed. Mahala, known to all along the coast simply as Mally, was a force to be reckoned with. The old ones respected her for caring for her grandfather and continuing his seaweed business; the young ones taunted her for her unkempt appearance and unladylike behavior. One lad, Bartholemew, found in her great pleasure. Barty insisted he and Mally would one day be friends.

Would Mally one day be Barty's treasure? Or, would she bring him to his early demise? There would be lessons to be learned by young and by old before the answers to these queries could be heard.

Barty scoffed at Mally's insistence the weed of the cove belonged solely to her. She considered him nothing but an interloper. A storm brewed between them as fierce as that which one day seized the overhead sky and the waves churning below. Both Mally and Barty fought feverishly to gather the seaweed, fiercely jabbing and jeering at one another all the while. Then there was a great Splash! and Barty was engulfed by waves cresting into the endless whirlpool inside the rock-lined hole.

Mally fetched old Glos, then ran to fetch Barty's family, and then she hid near the hut. As Barty's family carried their accusations and his broken body past her, she turned her head away, until a sound beckoned her back.

"Mally!" The lad whom she had been accused of killing called unto her ... proof she was not to be blamed.

Malachi's Cove by Anthony Trollope, was originally published in Good Words, 1864, and again in a collection of Trollope's short stories, Lotta Schmidt and Other Stories, 1867. Author Chris Brockman has edited this classic "to retain the flavor of the period in which it was written" while modernizing it for the reader's pleasure. Brockman adds and subtracts from the original version just enough to portray his own literary style. The beauty of Brockman's publication of Malachi's Cove is complimented by his chosen illustrator, Ken Green, whose graphic artistry enhances the text of the storyteller.


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This review is written and ©Ruth Cox. Reviews written by Ruth Cox are the sole property of said reviewer. This book review is written for and first posted to: Ruthi Reads! No monetary compensation is received in exchange for the writing of this review. A complimentary copy of the book was presented to said reviewer for personal reading and review purposes. This fact has no bearing on the written result of the review.