Title : The Immortalists
Author: Chloe benjamin
Genre: Literary Fiction
Published: January 9, 2019
My Rating: 3/5
The Immortalists is a thoughtfully executed novel about 4 siblings who visit a Roman gypsy and learn the date of their deaths. The prophecies given to them hunt them for the rest of their lives and influence all their decisions. It is a beautiful and devastating book about family, loss, love, and forgiveness.
I have mixed feelings about this book. There were parts I rather enjoyed and others that I had to power through because they were too slow for my taste. I was expecting a bit more magical realism but this doesn’t bother me as much. In general, I really enjoyed learning about the family, their different points of view on lifem and how each one of them deals with the prophecy. However, I didn’t grow attached to any of the characters. Likability isn’t something I demand but I want to care about the characters. I want to feel curious and wonder what will happen to them and I want to root for them.
The book is divided in four parts, one telling the story of each sibling. Without any spoilers, I thought the stories of Simon and Klara were a bit predictable but they had a bigger impact on me than those of Daniel – which made little sense – and Varya, which I did not find interesting.
While reading the book I couldn’t stop thinking of the Greek legend of Oedipus, as it poses the same questions: If you knew the date of your death would you live your life any differently? Would making different choices because of a prophecy make it come true? Would trying to avoid the prophecy make it come true? Are our destinies pre-planned or do we create them ourselves?