BookBrowse Reviews The Time of The Uprooted by Elie Wiesel

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reviews |  Beyond the book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

The Time of The Uprooted

by Elie Wiesel

The Time of The Uprooted by Elie Wiesel
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • First Published:
    Aug 2005, 320 pages
    Paperback:
    Jan 2007, 320 pages

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
BookBrowse Review Team

Buy This Book

About this Book

Reviews

BookBrowse:


A profoundly moving novel about the healing power of compassion

From the book jacket: Gamaliel Friedman is only a child when his family flees Czechoslovakia in 1939 for the relative safety of Hungary. For him, it will be the beginning of a life of rootlessness, disguise, and longing. Five years later, in desperation, Gamaliel's parents entrust him to a young Christian cabaret singer named Ilonka. With his Jewish identity hidden, he survives the war, but in 1956, to escape the stranglehold of communism, he leaves Budapest after painfully parting with Ilonka.

He settles in Vienna, then Paris, and finally, after a failed marriage, in New York, where he works as a ghostwriter, living through the lives of others. Eventually, he falls in with a group of exiles: a Spanish Civil War veteran, a survivor of the Warsaw ghetto, a victim of Stalinism, a former Israeli intelligence agent, and a rabbi—a mystic whose belief in the potential for grace in everyday life powerfully counters Gamaliel's feelings of loss and dispossession. When Gamaliel is asked to help draw out an elderly, disfigured Hungarian woman who is barely able to communicate but who may be his beloved Ilonka, he begins to understand that a real life in the present is possible only if he will reconcile with his past.

Comment:
For 45 years, since the publication of Night, Elie Wiesel has written more than 40 books that explore the contemporary Jewish consciousness, and how it has been formed by the atrocities of the 1930s and 40s. In Time of the Uprooted he explores the dichotomy of the life of a perpetual exile, who can never be fully whole because his body resides in one place while his spirit remains in another. Set in modern-day New York, this bleak and somewhat disjointed novel revolves around Gamaliel's many visits to see a dying Hungarian woman in hospital, interlaced with stories from his unhappy life - the disappearance of Ilonka, the woman who cared for him during the war and his wife's suicide to name but two. His only comforts are his small circle of fellow Jews who, despite having lived in one place for many decades, still feel rootless; his manuscript; and possibly the dying woman, who might be Ilonka.

Some critics feel that Wiesel's themes of love , loss, faith, politics, survival and, of course, exile, are a little too defuse; but one cannot deny the impact of his body of work as a whole, which speaks for not only the lost generation but those left behind, to which The Time of the Uprooted is a worthy addition, illustrating the lasting emotional impact of the Holocaust.

This review was originally published in September 2005, and has been updated for the January 2007 paperback release. Click here to go to this issue.



This review is available to non-members for a limited time. For full access become a member today.
Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Support BookBrowse

Become a Member and discover books that entertain, engage & enlighten!

Join Today!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: The Force
    The Force
    by Don Winslow
    Intense! That's the word. Winslow's The Force rips through its four hundred pages with the...
  • Book Jacket: Shadow Man
    Shadow Man
    by Alan Drew
    Alan Drew's debut novel, Gardens of Water, was an ambitious work of literary fiction set amid ...
  • Book Jacket
    The Noise of Time
    by Julian Barnes
    Confession: I do two terrible – some say unforgivable – things while reading a book. First...

Win this book!
Win The Library of Light and Shadow

The Library of Light and Shadow by M.J. Rose

"Possibly her best yet. A sensuous, sumptuous, and spellbinding novel." - Kirkus Reviews

Enter

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    The Almost Sisters
    by Joshilyn Jackson

    A powerful, emotionally resonant novel of the South.
    Reader Reviews

Word Play

Solve this clue:

T H Are B T O

and be entered to win..

Book Discussion
Book Jacket
June by Miranda Beverly-Whittemore

A novel of suspense and passion about a terrible mistake that changed a family forever.

About the book
Join the discussion!

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.