Published by G.P. Putnam's Sons on January 9th 2018
Genres: Coming of Age, Fantasy, Fiction
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If you were told the date of your death, how would it shape your present?
It's 1969 in New York City's Lower East Side, and word has spread of the arrival of a mystical woman, a traveling psychic who claims to be able to tell anyone the day they will die. The Gold children—four adolescents on the cusp of self-awareness—sneak out to hear their fortunes.
Their prophecies inform their next five decades. Golden-boy Simon escapes to the West Coast, searching for love in '80s San Francisco; dreamy Klara becomes a Las Vegas magician, obsessed with blurring reality and fantasy; eldest son Daniel seeks security as an army doctor post-9/11, hoping to control fate; and bookish Varya throws herself into longevity research, where she tests the boundary between science and immortality.
The premise of The Immortalists was what drew me to read this. Having someone tell you the exact day you will die would both fascinating and certainly frightening. I guess that questions that comes to mind would be, would it change each and every decision you make from the point on, or do you just blow it off as a psychic just trying to make some money? It all sounds interesting doesn’t it?
These four siblings went to see a psychic in 1969, who of course claimed to be able to tell them their death dates. These were young and vulnerable kids, but they took what she said to heart. The story is given in four parts over the course of several years, you have Simon’s, Klara’s, Daniel’s and Varya’s stories. First two parts are Simon and Klara, these two are the most daring, the risk takers. Klara has become a dream follower, a magician, basically following in her Grandmother’s footsteps. She’s talented at it, and even does her Grandmother’s trapeze act. Simon was fearless, he’s is comfortable in his skin, and openly gay. I did admire that about him, especially that this was a time when it wasn’t accepted. His story however, was pretty emotional, and detailed and for some readers this can be uncomfortable.
Now onto the other two part, Daniel and Varya. Daniel is the noble one, he has this need to protect and help others and does so in the medical field. Vayra studies science, notably it was science that has to do with aging, well not aging to be honest. It seemed to me that they were do what they could to avoid the whole “death day” prophecy they learned all those years ago. While each of the stories had something to offer, the premise behind it all got pushed to the side. The family dynamics was something I was looking forward to, and they seemed to be pushed aside just the same. It was such a intriguing story at the beginning, but sadly, it didn’t follow through till the end. In the end, I did enjoy this for the most part, but I was disappointed that we didn’t get to see as much family interaction as I though there would be, but at least there was some.
Overall, even with the issues that I did have with this, I did still enjoy it. The characters were unique in their own ways, the concept was interesting, with love, family, and fate all intertwined.
Unique characters and and interesting concept. Review for The Immortalists by Chloe Benjamin #adult #contemporary #ComingOfAge #fantasy #fiction #review #bookblogger Click To Tweet