Publication Date: March 2018 from Tinder Press
Source: Review Copy
It’s 1969, and holed up in a grimy tenement building in New York’s Lower East Side is a travelling psychic who claims to be able to tell anyone the date they will die. The four Gold children, too young for what they’re about to hear, sneak out to learn their fortunes.
Over the years that follow, the siblings must choose how to live with the prophecies the fortune-teller gave them that day. Will they accept, ignore, cheat or defy them? Golden-boy Simon escapes to San Francisco, searching for love; dreamy Klara becomes a Las Vegas magician; eldest son Daniel tries to control fate as an army doctor after 9/11; and bookish Varya looks to science for the answers she craves.
A sweeping novel of remarkable ambition and depth, The Immortalists is a story about how we live, how we die, and what we do with the time we have.
The Immortalists is a heartbreaking, beautiful story of four siblings and how they live their lives after they believe, to varying degrees, that they know when they might die.
I loved this. Loved loved – this family comes alive on the page, you literally live with them during the reading, the writing is gorgeous, descriptively rich, painting a picture of these children growing up, how that one day from their childhood affects them moving forward – it is melancholy yet life affirming in so many ways and I will never forget Varya, Daniel, Klara and Simon – ESPECIALLY not Simon whose story resonated and made me cry huge great buckets of tears.
The Immortalists is not about death – it is about life and what we do with it, choices, family, relationships, Chloe Benjamin has achieved a sweeping epic that is full of depth and perception – I was also drawn to Gertie, Mother to these four, whose peripheral yet solid presence throughout their lives sits just beneath the surface of everything they do.
It is thought provoking – how much of what happens is fate, how much can we change, as people especially are we set on one path or can we step outside ourselves and check and balance our existence. As each of our main protagonists edges towards the foretold end, you weep for them sometimes, pray for them at other times and hold on, like they do, to anything solid you can find. It is amazingly authentic and not at all mystical – just utterly real, genuinely emotive and hugely hugely affecting.
An absolutely incredible novel that will stay with me always.