Christian Fiction Review: The House on Malcolm Street by Leisha Kelly

The House on Malcolm Street
by Leisha Kelly
Copyright 2010
Revell Publishers
362 pages
ISBN: 978-0-8007-3328-5
Historical Fiction

From the publisher:
When tragedy steals her future, can Leah learn to trust again?

It is the autumn of 1920, and Leah Breckenridge is desperate to find a way to provide for her young daughter. After losing her husband and infant son, she is angry at God and fearful about the days ahead. Finding refuge in a boardinghouse run by her late husband's aunt, Leah begins the slow process of mending her heart.

Is it the people who surround her--or perhaps this very house--that reach into her heart with healing? As Leah finds peace tending to an abandoned garden, can she find a way to trust God with her future?

My Review:
To me books are like paintings and author's are the artists. It's so hard to judge art, for instance you may like the painting, others may not and vice versa. When you know that someone has put a lot of time and effort and heart and soul into something it's hard to say that you don't care for it. Unfortunately I have to say that I didn't care for this book. I read A LOT of Christian fiction and most I love but I don't like everything and I am sure you don't either. I may love a book and you might say it's not your cup of tea. As individuals we all have different tastes and we're entitled to our own opinions, that said you may really enjoy this book.

I've never read anything by this author before but she's gotten rave reviews so I'm sure some of her other books are excellent and I may pick one up someday. Last week I read a book by an author that I love and I didn't like it as much as I thought I would so just because Ms. Kelly is new to me doesn't mean I won't give her another shot. ;-)

The House on Malcolm Street is the story of Leah Breckenridge, her daughter Eliza, widower Josiah and Marigold; the owner of the boarding house where they all come to stay. Leah and Josiah both are extremely sad people who have lost their spouses and children to tragic accidents and illness. I guess that's one reason this wasn't one of my favorite books it is SO sad. There is so much heartbreak in this book it's not something that you want to read to be uplifted. I myself couldn't relate to any of the characters because I've never experienced tragedy quite like what they went through.

It was really difficult to get into because nothing really "happened" until about 3/4 of the way through the book. We're with the characters as they garden, repair holes in the house roof and mundane things like that. The most interesting part of the book was probably the sweet relationship between elderly Marigold and her Jewish neighbor, Mr. Abraham, I'm such a romantic. I almost wish the story was focused more on their relationship. Even though they got what they were hoping for I will say this, this book definitely did not have an unrealistic ending, everyone did not live in the perfect world of happily ever after. I could definitely see my grandmother reading something like this but if you're a reader of light, fun fiction or a good romance like me it might not be your thing. If you liek your fiction on the serious side you might enjoy it. I hope if you do give it a try that you will like it!

“Available September 2010 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.”

To learn more about Leisha Kelly and her books visit:

*I received my copy from Donna @ Revell Publishers in exchange from posting my honest review.*


  1. In spite of not liking it much, Renee, your review was very good...with a balance of the good and the not so good. And your painting analogy...simply perfect.

  2. Such a bummer when that happens. I always feel bad too. I think you did a great job being delicate and honest :)

  3. Nice review!

    I thought that The House on Malcolm Street was an interesting, but heavy read. I have read several books by Leisha Kelly and enjoyed Julia’s Hope, Emma’s Gift and Katie’s Dream.

    The House on Malcolm Street was not a light hearted story. The issues it deals with are heavy and make for a daunting read sometimes. Does it have a lot of meaning packed into one novel? Yes, it is likely one you won’t forget about, but it’s kind of a rainy day book, if you know what I mean.

    I have also written a more in-depth review on my own site:


  4. Oops!

    When I said a “more in-depth review” I meant more in-depth compared to the short comment I had made.

    Sorry if that was unclear.



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