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Book of the Month - August 2018

How would knowing the day you die affect the way you live? This is the underlying question that Chloe Benjamin puts to us in The Immortalists.

The year is 1969, the summer has left the Gold children restless stuck in their lower east side apartment. When Daniel Gold finds out about the fortuneteller who has taken residence nearby, for him it seems like the perfect opportunity for him and his siblings to find some adventure. As the Romani women draws them in one by one in her dark apartment, each of the gold: Daniel and his siblings Simon, Klara and Varya are left with a secret that will shape the rest of their lives.

Reeling from the encounter with the fortuneteller, the gold children continue with their lives until the sudden death of the father brings into perspective the fragility and uncertainty of life. As Simon the youngest begins to question the time given to him by the Romani woman, his actions shape the lives of all the rest of his siblings.

This coming of age novel based from the perspectives of the four Gold children makes you question the actions you take and their repercussion which can be felt through generations of your family. It provides a heartwarming perspective of familial bond and how time can change everything.

Chloe Benjamin structures her novel by linking it to key turning points in American history leading the reader to live the lives of the Gold Children as they navigate the social and economic turmoil’s of American society. The underlying question that the Immoralist’s put forward is; is the day you die your destiny or knowing the date of your death leads you to make the choice that lead you to it.

More then about death, The Immortalists is about how you live and how your choices govern you. Death is inevitable but how you live and what you leave behind leads you towards immortality.

 

by Waleed Zafar

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