The Immortalists, Chloe Benjamin

Netgalley copy in exchange for an honest review. 

The Blurb 

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 their date of death. In search of one thing they can know for sure, the Gold siblings — four adolescents on the cusp of self-awareness — sneak out to hear their fortunes.

Their prophecies inform the next five decades. Golden boy Simon runs away to San Francisco, where he lives a life of decadence and unmitigated sexuality; chameleonic Klara becomes a magician obsessed with blurring fantasy and reality; Daniel, a natural leader, rises in ranks as a prestigious military doctor; and shy, bookish Varya throws herself into longevity research, where she tests the boundary between science and immorality.

A sweeping novel of remarkable ambition and depth, THE IMMORTALISTS probes the line between destiny and choice, reality and illusion, this world and the next. It is a deeply moving testament to the power of story, the nature of belief and the unrelenting pull of familial bonds.

My Thoughts 

Here is me, re-doing the summary: The Immortalists, or how to break a girl in 300-something pages.


This book. 

It took me by the throat and squeezed, squeezed, squeezed, until I could not breathe, until I could do nothing but keep reading.

I really do believe this book is a masterpiece.

It made me care.

I have a lot of mixed feelings about the main characters as they evolve through life, but one thing I know for certain is that I love them dearly. They were realistic, absolutely beautifully-written, and raw.

The style felt like something else, truly. I felt deeply connected to the words on an organic level, and to the weight they had. Each one felt carefully chosen. 

It is really hard for me to write down this review as The Immortalists is one of those books that stays with you, rather like a secret, therefore being hard to explain and break down. But this is a story (or stories) that will appeal to everyone, a story that will make you think, care, love, laugh and cry.

I don't have the words. 

Selected Quotes 

  • "Klara and Simon believed they had taken pills with the power to change their lives, not knowing they had taken a placebo - not knowing that the consequences originated in their own minds."  
  • "Most magicians are incredibly rational." 
  • "I was afraid of all the things that can go wrong when people are attached to each other." 
  • "Think like Simon. Be fearless!" 



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