The Immortalists

Chloe Benjamin

The Immortalists
  • Format
  • Publisher
  • Country
  • Published
  • Pages
  • ISBN

The Immortalists

Chloe Benjamin

It’s 1969, and holed up in a grimy tenement building in New York’s Lower East Side is a travelling psychic who claims to be able to tell anyone the date they will die. The four Gold children, too young for what they’re about to hear, sneak out to learn their fortunes.

Over the years that follow, the siblings must choose how to live with the prophecies the fortune-teller gave them that day. Will they accept, ignore, cheat or defy them? Golden-boy Simon escapes to San Francisco, searching for love; dreamy Klara becomes a Las Vegas magician; eldest son Daniel tries to control fate as an army doctor after 9/11; and bookish Varya looks to science for the answers she craves.

A sweeping novel of remarkable ambition and depth, The Immortalists is a story about how we live, how we die, and what we do with the time we have.

Review

If you knew the date of your death, how would you choose to live the rest of your life? In the late ’60s in New York’s Lower East Side, word spreads of a psychic who can predict the date a person will die. The four Gold children visit this mysterious seer, unprepared for what they will hear and how this knowledge will define each sibling’s life.

First, we travel with Simon, who escapes his predestined role in the family business to run away to San Francisco and become a dancer. Part two follows Klara, whose childhood fascination with stage magic and the children’s mysterious grandmother leads her to a career on stage and a tenuous grip on reality following Simon’s death. Eldest son Daniel tries to control fate as an army doctor, and becomes compelled to track down the gypsy woman the children visited. Finally, the eldest, Varya, is a studious longevity researcher testing the boundaries of science and mortality but living a life paralysed by fear.

The Immortalists is a novel about fate and agency, about family and self-identity, and the subsequent struggle between guilt and forgiveness. Mortality is something that’s never far from my mind, but The Immortalists is not about death; rather it’s about life and what we do with the time we have. Chloe Benjamin’s clear writing and clever structure weave threads of magic, destiny, Jewish lore and complex family ties into an engrossing, tender and thought-provoking journey. It’s an ideal book-group choice with plenty to unpack and discuss.


Pilgrim Hodgson is a children’s and YA specialist at Readings Kids.

This item is in-stock and will ship in 1-2 business days

Please note, our Carlton shop is currently under renovation. We have a pop-up shop nearby, carrying a select range of titles. Please call the pop-up shop on 03 9347 6633 for enquiries about specific titles.

Our stock data is updated overnight, and availability may change throughout the day for in-demand items. Please call the relevant shop for the most current stock information. Prices are subject to change without notice.

Sign in or become a Readings Member to add this title to a wishlist.