The Immortalist by Chloe Benjamin is a new adult fiction novel and was chosen for my book club this month.
The Immortalist follows the lives of the Gold siblings. Eldest, Varya both bookish and hesitant; eldest son Daniel, typical man of the family and controlling; then comes Klara, the flighty dreamer who lives in her head; and finally, Simon, the youngest and most private of the Gold children, keeping himself to himself.
Still young enough and close enough in age to run together as a pack, the siblings decide to pool their money to see a mysterious woman who word-of-mouth claims can predict the date you will die. The siblings each have their turn with the fortune teller and each react to this knowledge in different ways that will forever change the direction of their lives.
Told from the perspective of each sibling up until the date of their death, what we get is five decades of what if… what if knowing the future causes it?
Again, not a book I would normally pick up on a whim, which is one of the reasons why I love a good book club. You end up reading outside of your purview. Overall, I enjoyed this book. It wasn’t exactly what I thought it would be but it was an interesting narrative.
You are basically reading about a family, how they lived and how their choices affected not only themselves but the loved ones they left behind. And yet… the whole book is colored by these death prophecies. Does knowing the date we die, influence the way we live? Could the Gold children have lived different lives if they had the fortune of not knowing? It’s definitely something interesting to think about. Would you want to know the date you are going to die, so that you could make the most of what time you have? OR would you rather the bliss of ignorance? The latter for me thank you very much.
Not only does this book make you think about how we live, it also deals with themes and family issues during a very volatile time period. I think out the four siblings, Klara is my favorite narrative. With her and Simon’s lives, you can really see how affected they were by the prophecy.
I liked this book but it didn’t wow me. It gets a solid 3.5 from me.
That’s all for now!