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The Immortalists by Chloe Benjamin Review

Title: The Immortalists

Author: Chloe Benjamin

First published January 9, 2018

346 pages, Hardcover

ISBN: 9780735213180 (ISBN10: 0735213186)

Rating: 3.71

Overview

The Immortalists by Chloe Benjamin is a fascinating tale that will captivate you with its intriguing question: If you knew the date of your death, how would you live your life? Set in 1969 New York City, the Gold children visit a mystical woman who tells them the day they will die.

This prophecy shapes their lives for the next five decades. Simon heads to the West Coast in search of love, Klara becomes a magician obsessed with blurring reality and fantasy in Las Vegas, Daniel seeks security as an army doctor post-9/11, and Varya throws herself into longevity research, testing the boundary between science and immortality.

This ambitious novel explores the line between destiny and choice, reality and illusion, and the unrelenting pull of familial bonds. The Immortalists is a thought-provoking and moving testament to the power of story and the nature of belief.

About the Author

Chloe Benjamin is a talented author who has achieved great success with her books. Her most recent work, THE IMMORTALISTS, has been a hit with readers and critics alike, earning the distinction of being a New York Times Bestseller, #1 Indie Next Pick for January 2018, a Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers Selection, #1 Library Reads pick, and an Amazon Best Book of the Month.

In addition to this impressive achievement, Chloe’s first novel, THE ANATOMY OF DREAMS (Atria, 2014), was also well received, winning the Edna Ferber Fiction Book Award and being longlisted for the 2014 Flaherty-Dunnan First Novel Prize.

Chloe’s writing has been embraced by readers all over the world, with her novels being translated into over twenty-three languages. She is a graduate of Vassar College and earned an M.F.A. in fiction at the University of Wisconsin.

Chloe currently resides in Madison, WI with her husband.

Editoral Review

Chloe Benjamin’s debut novel, The Immortalists, is a stunning meditation on fate, mortality, and family. Published in January 2018, the book quickly gained critical acclaim and became a New York Times bestseller.

Benjamin has since proven herself as a writer to be reckoned with, and The Immortalists is a powerful introduction to her work. Set in New York City in the late 1960s, the novel follows four siblings who visit a psychic to learn when they will die.

The novel is divided into four parts, each focusing on one of the siblings as they grapple with their allotted time on earth. The first is Simon, an aspiring dancer who moves to San Francisco and falls in love with a man.

The second is Klara, a magician who struggles with her identity and relationships. The third is Daniel, a doctor who has a strained relationship with his wife and must confront his mortality.

The final section is about Varya, a scientist who dedicated her life to research on longevity. At its core, The Immortalists is a novel about how the looming threat of death shapes our lives.

Benjamin navigates this territory with grace and wisdom, finding poignant moments in even the darkest of situations. Her writing is lyrical and precise, creating a world that is rich in detail and emotion.

One of the most impressive aspects of the novel is how distinct each of the siblings’ stories is. Each character feels fully realized and three-dimensional, and their struggles are uniquely their own.

Benjamin has a gift for creating complex, flawed characters that the reader cares deeply about. The novel also has a cultural and historical significance, reflecting on the AIDS crisis, the feminist movement, and the advancements in science during the late 20th century.

Benjamin weaves in these larger themes without sacrificing the intimacy of the characters’ stories. However, there are moments when the pacing of the novel drags, particularly in the middle sections.

While the writing is always beautiful, there are times when the story feels meandering and slow. Overall, The Immortalists is a powerful and thought-provoking debut novel.

Benjamin’s writing is gorgeous and emotionally resonant, and her characters are complex and memorable. This book is perfect for anyone who enjoys introspective, character-driven novels that grapple with the big questions of life and death.

Rating: 4/5

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