Book Review – The Book of Uriel by Elyse Hoffman

I am a sucker for a plot that was centred around the world wars. Historical ones, fictional ones, all based around that time period are worth a read. It was no surprise that I singed up for The Book of Uriel!

Set in the time period of the Second World War, The Book of Uriel is about ten-year-old Uriel. Unable to speak, he writes in his golden book the stories that flow through him.

Uriel’s life is upended due to the holocaust. His family, village all of it gone! At this time he encounters a task – to find the Archangel Michael, guardian of the Jewish people. Does he succeed in this or not? How does he go about it? All of that was what followed in The Book of Uriel.

The Book of Uriel is true to its tone. Set in time when life could be cruel, Elyse Hoffman captures Uriel’s resilience and grit with a very fine telling. For a ten year old mute boy, who lost his family and is now on a task that puts the lives of his people in question, Uriel comes off as strong and determined.m

All books set in this time are quite traumatic to read. Whilst The Book of Uriel may not be the one explicitly describing the horrors, it does not leave it behind. There are circumstances that show us how life could have been problematic – little things escalating into bigger ones, all the way to the death camps.

Uriel and Uwe’s relationship is another wonderful thing about this book. It was exactly what it was meant to be. I may not be able to describe it in words, but I felt it was absolutely necessary – nothing too much and not too little. Just as it was meant to be. Maybe you are left wondering what I mean by it. Well, you had best pick up The Book of Uriel to find out about Use and Uriel’s relationship. I am sure you will agree with me then.

I am not going to say this was an “all’s well that ends well” sort of a book. It is not a feel good book. This one will get you. It will perhaps even rend your heart into shreds. Remember you are reading about one of the most turbulent times in history. A time when horrific crimes were committed by humans. So readers need to be prepared for triggers.

The Book of Uriel is a wholesome read in the way it takes through the life of Uriel. As a book, it does take the reader along for a wonderfully empathetic ride.


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