Short Review #4: The Immortalists by Chloe Benjamin (2018)

My Review: 2.5 out of 5 ⭐️
Title: The Immortalists: A Novel
Author: Chloe Benjamin
Published: 2018 (G.P Putnam’s Sons, New York)
Pages: 347 (paperback)
Genres: Fiction, Fantasy, Contemporary Historical Fiction, Magical Realism

My copy of The Immortalists with a filter over the photo

Happy International Women’s Day! I thought it was appropriate the book I’m reviewing today is by a female author, Chloe Benjamin. Before reading this book, I had not heard of the author before. I found my copy pictured above while shopping at one of my favorite places for used books, music & various paraphernalia, Zia Records. Most of the books I read and review on here are checked out from the local libraries. But I found this copy at Zia’s for a very economical price, which made me suspicious… but the synopsis sounded alluring so I decided to give this book a shot.

“Most adults claim not to believe in magic, but Klara knows better. Why else would anyone play at permanence–fall in love, have children, buy a house–in the face of all evidence there’s no such thing?” – Chloe Benjamin, The Immortalists

The novel is about four siblings, Varya, Daniel, Klara and Simon, bonded by not only relationship, but one single experience that changed the course of their lives. As children, they visited a mystic who predicted their death, and since that moment, the siblings choices and attitudes became based upon that knowledge. All four siblings had the same experience, but vastly different reactions and life choices. The story is told through the different siblings perspectives up until their death. The novel focuses on individual destiny and chance through the weary trials of the siblings.

“The power of words. They weaseled under door crevices and through keyholes. They hooked into individuals and wormed through generations.” – Chloe Benjamin, The Immortalists

Even though the story lacks luster and a more exciting execution, I enjoyed the story as a whole very much. I definitely thought there was going to be more real magic and illusion, but it taught a certain awareness about life and how we perceive our time and purpose.

“When you hear hoof beats, think horses, not zebras.” – Chloe Benjamin, The Immortalists

I recommend this book if you’re looking for a literary fiction book with magical elements and realistic characters that cover hard-hitting subjects. This book is definitely not for the faint of heart, but there is an ounce of hope here and there as well. Final warning: the subject matter of this book does contain more sensitive topics such as self harm, death and illness.

Overall, I give this book a 2.5 out of 5!

_Elizabeth

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