I’m not crying, you are!
How can something with such a horrible backdrop still be so wholesome? I just finished reading this book, and I am not really sure how to feel. This is an exciting adventure about a young boy’s quest to help save his people, but also so very horrible. Both telling us about the horrors of human beings and the hope one can carry.
Thank you to the author, the publisher and The Write Reads for letting me be a part of this blog tour.
Title: The Book of Uriel: A Novel of WWII
Author: Elyse Hoffman
Genre: Historical fiction | Fantasy
Length: 373 pages | 11 hrs and 13 mins (Audible)
Publishing: 26th of January 2021
STAR RATING: 4/5
In the fires of World War II, a child must save his people from darkness…
Ten-year-old Uriel has always been an outcast. Born mute in a Jewish village known for its choir, he escapes into old stories of his people, stories of angels and monsters. But when the fires of the Holocaust consume his village, he learns that the stories he writes in his golden notebook are terrifyingly real.
In the aftermath of the attack, Uriel is taken in by Uwe, a kind-hearted linguist forced to work for the commander of the local Nazi Police, the affably brutal Major Brandt. Uwe wants to keep Uriel safe, but Uriel can’t stay hidden. The angels of his tales have come to him with a dire message: Michael, guardian angel of the Jewish people, is missing. Without their angel, the Jewish people are doomed, and Michael’s angelic brethren cannot search for him in the lands corrupted by Nazi evil.
With the lives of millions at stake, Uriel must find Michael and free him from the clutches of the Angel of Death…even if that means putting Uwe in mortal danger.
The Book of Uriel is a heartbreaking blend of historical fiction and Jewish folklore that will enthrall fans of The Book Thief and The World That We Knew.
MY THOUGHTS ABOUT THE BOOK
Hoffman has an ability to tell a story that is set in a horrible time in history and yet still bring out some light. This is a story about the evil, about ethnic cleansing and death. But most importantly, this is a story about hope.
We meet Uriel, the village mute, a ten year old Jewish boy with a gift for writing. We also meet Uwe, a German linguist who’s forced to work for the Ordnungpolizei – the Order Police. Uriel and Uwe form a loving and sweet bond, very much relying on each other to make it through the dark days of WWII. Sometimes I was afraid that Uriel as a character was a bit too sweet, innocent and flawless, but I actually don’t mind. Given that the setting is so dark and intense, we need the light and sweetness that this character brings. There isn’t much of a character development with him, but we need him as is.
WWII is a pretty heavy theme, but mixed with Uriel’s sweetness and an interesting introduction into Judaism, the book doesn’t get too heavy. When it comes to the Jewish faith, I am not very well-versed. I live in Denmark, and most of our Jews were transported to Sweden when Germany occupied Denmark during the war. I genuinely enjoyed the way Hoffman told stories and informed about Jewish traditions without it being too much of an info-dump. Not overwhelming, but still interesting and engaging.
If you enjoy historical fiction and stories about WWII I highly recommend this read. However, if you’re sensitive towards themes such as war, death and genocide then you probably shouldn’t read this.
Elyse Hoffman strives to tell historical tales with new twists: she loves to meld WWII and Jewish history with fantasy, folklore, and the paranormal. She has written six works of Holocaust historical fiction: the five books of The Barracks of the Holocaust and The Book of Uriel.
Happy reading and take care ❤