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Thursday, 8 March 2018

The Immortalists @chloekbenjamin @TinderPress

About The Immortalists

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.

My review of The Immortalists

I have no idea of how I am going to do this book justice in my review, but I'll do my best to try and express just haunting, lyrical, epic, and sublimely beautiful this book is.

The Immortalists is an epic family drama that begins in 1969 when four children visit a travelling psychic, who tells them things that no child should ever hear, the youngest only seven. This beginning hooked me in. The story of how all four Gold children were told the day that they would die. This alone caught my attention and made me want to read more. I needed to know what would happen to these four children, how their lives would pan out, and if what the psychic said was true? Would they die on the day that she prophesied? This is the backbone to the book, but the story is so much more. It's a story about the importance of family, how siblings grow up together and their  relationship with each other over the years. Parts of thus book I found hugely emotional, that feeling when you have a huge lump in your throat that you just can't swallow down. The feelings, experiences and interactions were all so vivid and incredibly real.

While reading I wondered how I would feel if I knew the day I would die? Would this change the decisions that I'd make? What I do on a day to day basis? Would I take more risks? The answers are yes. Knowing your destiny must change the way in which you view and live life, and this is the question that is posed to the four Gold children. But how can children possibly process this type of information about their own mortality? The day that they meet the psychic does change all of their lives forever. For them, and me as a reader, this was a hugely emotional experience. This book makes us question our own mortality. Would we really want to know?

The book follows a logical progession, in that we read from 1969 through to when the book ends in the 21st century. The book is divided into four parts, each one telling a separate story, by each of the Gold's. Every  chapter had a distinct voice with their own share of joy, sadness and drama. Each had their own distinctive voice, but the character of Klara, the sister who became a magician, touched me the most.

The attention to detail in this book is breathtaking. It is a tantalisingly slow paced read, but that's how it should be. I felt as if I completely understood every single one of the Golds, I empathised, I laughed and  cried with them.  While I read I was fully immersed, and I didn't want the book to end.

The Immortalists is indeed a book of epic proportions. This is one mystical and hugely memorable book. I can't praise it highly enough. A must read!

With thanks to the publisher and Bookbridgr for the Advanced hardback copy.

The Immortalists is published on March 8 and can be found on Amazon here

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