Right from the start, in the intriguing Prologue, the reader is pulled in to this story, leaving you desperate to know how it will all unfold.
It is so insightful, looking into the mind and the thinking of the main character, seeing his doubts, insecurities and internal conversation that is easy to relate to. The author has a great ability to write the inner workings of someone’s thoughts, so convincingly. To really get inside someone else’s mind, even the darkest of recesses, in a realistic way.
The book is about the main character coming to terms with who he is, whether it is by way of a midlife crisis, a crisis of faith or a personality crisis, or a combination of them all. And the irony is not lost on the reader that he has made a career writing books on just these topics. But a fragile personality is tipped over the edge, having never really admitted to himself, or others, who he really is, which leads down a path of unravelling and eventually rebuilding.
As his life falls apart, he visits old haunts and his background is revealed, exposing some of the reasons why he is how he is. The amateur psychologists amongst us will have a field day spotting all the clues along the way, that have been laid by a truly professional psychologist author.
It is a well presented case study of how past experiences frame the present, and in many cases need to be dealt with to unblock us, allowing us to move on.
In the story, the people he is reunited with, some real and some trawled from the depths of his imagination, lead him through his unravelling, his rediscovering of purpose and direction and his rebuilding of faith in himself, in others and in his God. A lifetime of pain and shame, that has never been dealt with, surfaces and finds resolution and peace.
It is a brilliantly written book, packed with emotive and creative writing, lovely descriptions, plenty of clever use of language, insight and touches of humour.
The Unhiding of Elijah Campbell, by Kelly Flanagan, is available here.
Thank you to Netgalley for the gifted copy in exchange for an honest review.