If you were told the date of your death, how would it shape your present?
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.
Their 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 seeks security as an army doctor post-9/11, hoping to control fate; and bookish Varya throws herself into longevity research, where she tests the boundary between science and immortality.
As one of my most anticipated books of 2018, I basically hoped and prayed that this book would not let me down. I'm sure you're familiar with the feeling of wanting to read a book so badly, buying it as soon as it is released, and it not meeting your expectations. Thankfully, that is not something I had to deal with while reading The Immortalists.
What really got me was the fact that it was about what would happen if you knew the date that you would die. How would you let that knowledge affect the way that you lived your life? This story follows the four Gold siblings as they deal with just that.
Early on in the story, Varya, Daniel, Klara, and Simon Gold go to see a fortune teller who tells each of them the exact dates of their deaths. The siblings, who are children when they are told, are shaken up about this new found knowledge. The story picks up again when the siblings are in their late teens and through adulthood. There are different sections that follow each sibling's story before and around the time of their supposed death date.
This book is fairly predictable in that you can pretty much guess what is going to happen for each of the siblings. However, I really enjoyed the little details of the siblings' day to day lives. I also liked how the author touched on many different important subjects such as the AIDS epidemic in the early 80's, mental illnesses, and a few other things that I don't want to mention here as to keep this review the least amount of spoilery possible.
There were a few parts that were a bit harder to get through but not necessarily because of the writing. I think this particular character was difficult to relate to. And I wanted to smack them like half the time. So there's that.
Overall, I really enjoyed this book. I thought that it was well-written and it had an interesting premise. Although it was a bit predictable, I found myself wanting to continue reading. I even recommended this book to a friend before I even finished the book!
If you enjoy Adult Fiction and are interested in family type books, I recommend this one.
If you could know find out the exact date of your death, would you want to? And if you did find out, how would you let that knowledge affect your life? Let me know in the comments below!