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Jennifer's books

Goodbye, Vitamin
American Fire: Love, Arson, and Life in a Vanishing Land
Mrs. Hemingway
Poetry Will Save Your Life: A Memoir
The Princess Diarist
Watch Me Disappear
Hello, Sunshine
Peak Performance: Elevate Your Game, Avoid Burnout, and Thrive with the New Science of Success
A Man Called Ove
The Heirs
Our Souls at Night
White Fur
Confessions of a Domestic Failure
The Map That Leads to You
The Little French Bistro
Love the Wine You're With
Always and Forever, Lara Jean
Midnight at the Bright Ideas Bookstore
The Party
New Boy


Jennifer Curry's favorite books »

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Book Review: The Immortalists

The Immortalists by Chloe Benjamin





















I started 2018 with a book that I will remember far after this year ends and one everyone is already talking about. The Immortalists by Chloe Benjamin is a gut-wrenching and unforgettable novel, which is told with beautiful sorrow. Imagine the film Only You with Marisa Tomei and Robert Downey, Jr. filled with death and heartbreak rather than romance – and you get The Immortalists.

I realize that sounds depressing. And, it is. But, but, but. I love a well-told depressing novel – especially if it ends hopeful. And, this one does, even when I had given up hope. Now, that I have set this one up, let me tell you the gist.

This novel focuses on the Gold siblings. When they are children, the four siblings visit a fortune teller who tells the children their death dates. These death fortunes change the trajectory of their lives. Their relationships with one another become stranded. And, they begin to make major life choices because of their individual fortunes.

The novel is set up in five different sections. The first section introduces the fortune teller and the young children. Then, each section tells the life story of each sibling told in his/her voice. The author does a brilliant job at crafting unique siblings with separate, but intertwined stories. The whole time, as a reader, I kept wanting to find out if the fortunes were true and hoping they were not. (Not going to spoil it for you.)

My favorite character was the third child who is the magician, which will come as absolutely no surprise to anyone who reads my blog. But, I mourned along with each sibling – and I expect you will too.

With that being said, this book deals heavily with homosexuality, sex, suicide, alcoholism, magic, fortune telling, mental illness, and so on. There were some sex scenes that were much more detailed than things I typically read; however, these scenes purposely develop character and plot. As a mature reader, it was evident that the scenes were not salacious, but they were important for the overall themes of the novel.

Here is one quote to give you a taste (with a character name redacted):

“But [-] has done it. The impossibility of moving beyond loss, faced against the likelihood you will: it’s as absurd, as seemingly miraculous, as survival always is.”

* I received this book free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

* It was released today, so go ahead and order it or put it on hold at your local library!

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