Greetings and salutations, your ghost with the most here with another review.
At the same time I was reading NeverSea, I was also reading The Immortalists by Chloe Benjamin. As with Never Sea, it took me the entire month to finish due to schooling, but winter break approaches which means I will have more time to read.
Title: The Immortalists
Author: Chloe Benjamin
Publication Date: 9 January 2018, pre-order here.
Genre(s): Fiction, Contemporary, Adult Fiction
I received a Galley of this novel at no cost from the author and publisher.
If you knew the date of your death, how would you live your life?
The entire novel focuses on this question. In 1969 in New York’s Lower East Side, the four Gold siblings find out that there is a psychic traveling in their area, giving out fortunes. Curious and skeptical, the Gold children seek out the psychic to learn of their own fortunes. After that day in 10969, the Gold siblings’ – unambiguous Varya, imperious Daniel, magic-driven Klara, and fanciful Simon – lives change forever.
What the woman tells the children not only impact how they lived, but also affected the siblings’ relationship with one another. It divides the two older siblings -Varya and Daniel – from the two younger siblings – Klara and Simon. All Klara wants is to pursue a career as an illusionist and leaves New York to San Francisco with Simon. San Francisco becomes the place where Simon finds himself and is able to be who he is and love who he wants and not be the son that must take over the family business. The two younger siblings wind up living reckless lives, counting down the days to their death date. Every day is lived to the absolute fullest, away from home with little contact with their mother and other siblings.
On the other hand, the older siblings live careful lives, both taking up stable careers – Varya a researcher on longevity and Daniel a mlitary doctor – and take care of their aging mother. Both siblings are angry at their younger siblings for being reckless and believe that if what the psychic told them hadn’t affected them as much, they would live long healthy lives. Varya lives a careful life where everything is structural and straightforward, whereas Daniel lives a relatively normal life with a wife and a nice home. However, both have secrets that slowly causes them great guilt and anxiety.
The novel itself is amazing with a few plot twists. The format of it goes through the lives of each sibling from youngest to oldest, often crossing with each other in terms of dates. My only complaint was that at some points the timeline can be quite confusing and jumps around.
I also found myself relating to the Gold siblings. I come from a family with five girls, me as the youngest. In a way, I saw a little bit of ourselves in each of the Gold siblings. Personally, I identified with Varya more. The straightforward, no surprises, careful Varya who tends to keep to herself while battling internal demons.
Overall, the novel was very well written and I’m still in awe over it and how well Benjamin was able to write each character. It makes me wonder, would I want to know my death date? If so, would I let it affect the way I lived my life?
Thanks for tuning in. I will have the bookish playlist for The Immortalists available in January upon its release.
Stay jolly my friends,