Monday, December 5, 2022

The Unhiding of Elijah Campbell by Kelly Flanagan Book Review

About the Book

Elijah Campbell is on the verge of losing his writing career, his faith, and his marriage when a recurring childhood nightmare drives him back to his hometown, Bradford's Ferry. 

There, his encounters with loved ones both past and present shed light on the reason his wife left him―and the meaning of his nightmare. However, beyond the light he begins to glimpse something even more terrifying―a decision he must make either to continue hiding the secrets of his past or unhide the only thing that can save his marriage: himself.

In psychologist Kelly Flanagan's non-fiction works (LoveableTrue Companions), he drew from clinical insight to explore the spiritual depths of identity and relationships. Now, in this debut novel, he weaves a page-turning and plot-twisting tale that brings new life to those insights, along with fresh revelations about personal growth, spiritual transformation, and the dynamics of interpersonal relationships.

This visit to Bradford's Ferry will linger long after the final page has been turned, and a guide for group discussion invites further conversation about the story's themes of healing, grace, faith, forgiveness, and freedom.

You can read an excerpt here.

My Review

Unlike most readers, according to reviews, I had difficulty being engaged with this novel. It is mostly prose with lots of reminiscing, remembering, and dream experiences. Elijah comes across as a person who, even in adulthood, will not face his own weaknesses. He is not an honest man, hiding credit card debt from his soon to be and then new wife, for example. He is not honest with his therapist. The novel follows his long journey of self-discovery.

This is a novel for readers who like the slow path of working through memories to self awareness. It is a good book for those who would like to go through a similar inner journey or are perhaps experiencing a midlife crisis. There are many good lessons one can find in the story and the discussion questions are good for thinking about them.

My rating: 4/5 stars. 

About the Author

Kelly Flanagan
(PhD, Pennsylvania State University) is a clinical psychologist, popular speaker, and the author of 
The Marriage ManifestoLoveable, and True Companions. He has also written for publications such as Christianity TodayReader's Digest, and Huffington Post, and he has appeared on the TODAY Show with his daughter. He lives in Dixon, Illinois, with his wife who is also named Kelly, and their three children. You can find out more at

IVP, 320 pages.

I received a complimentary egalley of this book from the publisher. My comments are an independent and honest review.

(My star ratings: 5-I love it, 4-I like it, 3-It's OK, 2-I don't like it, 1-I hate it.)

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