A bittersweet story with great family dynamics and one with interesting issues and realistic family relationships. Four siblings, visit a fortuneteller who tells each the date they will die.  This is a story of how this impacts their lives and deaths.The Immortalists By Chloe Benjamin #fiction, #reading, #books to read, #books

The Immortalists

By Chloe Benjamin

PBR Book Review:

Would you live your life differently if you knew your date of death? The date your brothers and sisters would die? It's an interesting concept, original and the basic premise of this bittersweet story. It's about four siblings, who on a whim, visit a psychic who tells each of them when they will die.

I have mixed feeling about this book. It's really four separate stories, one for each sibling, a format I find frustrating. It always seems like I'm starting over and getting reinvested in the story. But that's just me. Hence, the four stars.

However, I loved how this book made me think: about life, death, family, love, and fate. I loved each character's story and only wished for a little more cohesiveness. I enjoyed the dynamics between the four and watching the decisions they made knowing when they would die.

Book Club Talking Points:

When you know the exact date of your death, do you take more risks and live life to the fullest? Or do you live cautiously? What role do fate and destiny play in our lives? These are some of the issues covered in this book. It's also a family saga showing some very dysfunction, but common sibling behavior patterns. The author also delves deeply into the beginning of the aids crisis.
Buy From Amazon.com Publisher's Website

Author's Website

*Discussion Questions

1. The Immortalists explores the degree to which we shape our own destinies—do you believe that the siblings’ fate was preordained? Why or why not?

2. The novel takes place in very different settings—1960s New York City, the San Francisco dance scene, glitzy Las Vegas hotels. In what ways do these locations affect the characters? Why do you think all four of the siblings moved away from New York City?

3. The Immortalists is narrated by the four siblings in separate sections. What was your reading experience when you switched sections? Did you identify more closely with certain siblings?

4. The power of belief—whether it be magic, religious faith, or storytelling—is an important theme in the novel. How does belief af

5. At its heart, The Immortalists is a family love story, exploring both past and future generations of the Gold family. In what ways does family history shape us? What kind of legacies do the four siblings leave behind?

6. How do magic and reality blur in the novel? Were there any particular moments that seemed to defy logic? Why are certain characters drawn to magic and the unknowable more than others?

7. Discuss the siblings’ significant others: Raj, Mira, and Robert. How are their lives affected by the prophecy? How do romantic and familial relationships interact and contrast in The Immortalists?

8. At the end of the novel, Gertie tells Varya about the beauty and freedom in uncertainty, questioning why her children believed the fortune teller. Did you believe the fortune teller? What gives the fortune teller her power? What freedoms does uncertainty b

9. What do you imagine happens to Varya after the book ’s ending? How have her views on longevity and death changed?

10. Would you want to find out the date of your death? How would you live your life differently if you had this information?

(Discussion Questions by Publisher)

Book Summary
If you knew the date of your death, how would you live your life?

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 the day they will die. The Gold children–four adolescents on the cusp of self-awareness–sneak out to hear their fortunes.

The prophecies inform their next five decades. Golden boy Simon escapes to the West Coast, searching for love in ’80s San Francisco; dreamy Klara becomes a Las Vegas magician obsessed with blurring reality and fantasy; eldest son Daniel struggles to maintain security as an army doctor post-9/11; and bookish Varya throws herself into longevity research, where she tests the boundary between science and immortality.

Both a dazzling family love story and 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.
Looking for more reading suggestions?
Visit Our Blog
Browse A Little
Sign Up For Our Free Newsletter