The Immortalists by Chloe Benjamin

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Much of the suspense in Chloe Benjamin’s intriguing second novel, “The Immortalists,” derives from discovering what fate has in store for the Gold siblings and to what degree each takes the fortuneteller’s words to heart as they face love, loss and uncertainty.
-Star Tribune

Synopsis

INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

“A captivating family saga.”—The New York Times Book Review

“You won’t be able to put it down.”The Skimm (Skimm Reads Pick)

“This literary family saga is perfect for fans of Celeste Ng and Donna Tartt.”—People Magazine (Book of the Week)

“A sprawling, enchanting family saga.”—Entertainment Weekly (The Must List)

A dazzling family love story reminiscent of Everything I Never Told You from a novelist heralded by Lorrie Moore as a “great new talent.”

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 seeks 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.

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.
 

About Chloe Benjamin

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Chloe Benjamin is a graduate of Vassar College and the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she received her MFA in fiction. She is a recipient of the Sally Mead Hands Award for fiction writing and the Dorothy D. Bailey Summer Prize Fellowship, and her work has appeared in PANK, The Washington Independent Review of Books, The Laurel Review, Pebble Lake Review, Tar River Poetry, Whiskey Island, Verse Wisconsin, and Devil’s Lake, among others. She has taught creative writing and freshmen composition at UW-Madison and Edgewood College. She lives in Madison, Wisconsin, where she works for a nonprofit, runs a writing workshop for preteen girls, and writes in the hours in between.
 
Published January 9, 2018 by G.P. Putnam's Sons. 352 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction, History. Fiction
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Critic reviews for The Immortalists
All: 4 | Positive: 1 | Negative: 3

Kirkus

Below average
on Jul 17 2017

Various minor characters—a cop; spouses, lovers, and offspring; the fortuneteller herself—weave through the plot in a contrived way. Benjamin’s (The Anatomy of Dreams, 2014) premise situates her novel in magical territory, but the spell doesn't quite work.

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Star Tribune

Good
Reviewed by Nancy Pate on Jan 05 2018

Much of the suspense in Chloe Benjamin’s intriguing second novel, “The Immortalists,” derives from discovering what fate has in store for the Gold siblings and to what degree each takes the fortuneteller’s words to heart as they face love, loss and uncertainty.

Read Full Review of The Immortalists | See more reviews from Star Tribune

Guardian

Above average
Reviewed by Clare Clark on Mar 30 2018

But despite these cavils The Immortalists worms its way under your skin. Benjamin writes with verve and charm...

Read Full Review of The Immortalists | See more reviews from Guardian

NPR

Above average
Reviewed by Jean Zimmerman on Jan 09 2018

The reader will likely be thoroughly taken by the world of the Gold siblings, in all its shades of brilliant color. It's not a totally comfortable realm, since we know all too well how this tale's going to end, but getting there is lovely.

Read Full Review of The Immortalists | See more reviews from NPR

Reader Rating for The Immortalists
75%

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