Published by Claire (bookscoffeeandrepeat) , 1 year ago
"The Immortalists" contained such ordinary ideas with a bit of mysticism that made the overall outcome of the novel quite unique. The novel was about hopeful kids in the 60s who were curious about a certain fortune teller. Right away, the author captured my full attention. These kids in the cusps of adolescence and longing to know about their future seemed to be a clever idea of a coming of age story. I liked the idea that these kids were curious and self-aware.
The interesting part especially in the eyes of the reader is how these kids would react to their fortunes being told. The idea of "self-fulfilling prophecies" immediately comes to mind. Will knowing about their futures affect their futures, or are their futures set in stone based on what the mystical woman had told them?
I guess you have to read to find out.
Thought-provoking and interesting tale that asks, what happens if you know too much?
Published by Meigan , 1 year ago
“If you knew the date of your death, how would you live your life?” Personally, I probably wouldn’t, having developed an obsessive fixation on said date and letting that fixation permeate every waking day and every waking thought. My life would end the day I learned of the date because there certainly wouldn’t be any “real” living after that point in time. Such an interesting premise for sure and one I’ll (hopefully) never have to explore, but the same can’t be said for the Gold siblings in The Immortalists.
In the summer of 1969, the four Gold siblings - Varya, Daniel, Klara, and Simon - learn of a rishika, a woman with the power to tell someone their exact date of death. Whether or not her predictions are accurate, the moment that each sibling learns of the dreaded date is something that will change them forever. While some of them don’t put much salt in the old woman’s power, it’s definitely something that sticks with them long after they leave her apartment and childhood, following them into adulthood and invisibly and unconsciously shaping their thoughts and actions. Whether or not it’s something they “believe” in, that moment with the old woman was a critical moment in the lives of these four siblings, and definitely one that they can’t erase.
With The Immortalists, Benjamin takes something that we all think of from time to time, something that’s inevitable for us all, and plunks it dead center in this story. While the Golds grow and change and move on, death and thoughts of death are always there in the background, subtly letting itself be known. With each character, it was interesting to see what they did with the information learned so long ago and the psychological changes that happen when the dates loom closer. Impulsivity. Recklessness. Extreme caution. An excess of pragmatism. Of course, some of these were already traits of each siblings’ personality, and perhaps having an expiration date and knowing that date made each trait just a little stronger and a bit more like an invisible hand.
Bottom line - The Immortalists was such an interesting and thought-provoking tale of siblings and life and how perhaps some things are better left unknown. Highly recommended, and I’ll definitely be keeping my eyes open for future works by this author.
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