The Unhiding of Elijah Campbell: A Novel

Reviewed by:

Katrine Melika from Cleveland, OH, a Professional Writing student at Taylor University in Upland, IN.



The Unhiding of Elijah Campbell: A Novel


Kelly Flanagan


InterVarsity Press

http://InterVarsity Press

Publication Date:

October 18th, 2022


Print Book


309 pages



From their first interaction, Elijah Campbell has been hiding information from his crush and future wife, Rebecca. This continues even during their marriage as Elijah piles burden after burden on himself without communicating his struggles to Rebecca. He secretly falls into debt, demotivation, and a poor mental state, and although he succeeds in keeping his secrets, Rebecca gradually concludes that Elijah is hiding his real self from her. Because of this, she leaves, taking Sarah, their young daughter, with her. Even Elijah’s therapist decides that they should stop meeting until Elijah can be honest with himself and others. This leads Elijah on a journey to his hometown of Bradford’s Ferry, filled with a colorful cast of characters. The most notable of Bradford’s Ferry residents, Elijah’s mother, harbors similar trauma symptoms to Elijah and retains much of the friction in their relationship from Elijah’s younger years.

Flanagan quickly has readers fall in love with Rebecca and Elijah’s relationship and a fondness for Elijah’s persistence before we sense something is amiss. Elijah’s point of view is strongly portrayed in the reflective style of writing and in his interactions with the setting around him. Some characters can be slightly stereotypical, but they serve the story well by sparking realizations in Elijah. The plot is paced well despite moving through a long period of time for 309 pages and gives readers time to reflect on the situation as well as high-conflict scenes that hold and create tension.

This novel adds a unique perspective to the conversation tackling how to journey through a dark point of your life with a Christian outlook. It offers new ways of reflecting and dealing with trauma and pain that Elijah uses to overcome his destructive behavior. But the author acknowledges that even afterward, some people can relapse into harmful patterns of thought. Flanagan respects his readers by not shying away from difficult situations and topics, which makes the novel that much more important.



5 out of 5

Suggested Audience:

For Christians who have an interest in psychology and are not dissuaded by the raw narration and darker tone of the novel and anyone attempting to understand a low point in someone’s faith.

Christian Impact:

Connects our psychology to our Christian faith and shows the impact of a healthy worldview

Other Notes:

The novel does cover themes like suicide, drunkenness, and divorce. Suicide, especially, becomes a personal topic for the main character.


The Unhiding of Elijah Campbell

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One Response to “The Unhiding of Elijah Campbell: A Novel”

  1. This book caught my attention on NetGalley and it sounded interesting. I do appreciate these content notes!

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