Book of the Week: The Immortalists

• The Immortalists by Chloe Benjamin

• Reviewed by Vanessa Colantonio, Coquitlam Public Library

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One of the New York Times bestsellers from last year was author Chloe Benjamin’s second novel, The Immortalists (her first was 2014’s The Anatomy of Dreams).

Set over a four-decade timespan, Benjamin’s novel follows the lives of four siblings who, having received their predicted death dates as teens from a psychic reading, set about living their lives to the absolute fullest.

For 20th century history buffs, Benjamin’s most recent work is rich with local historical details from the 1960s through to the 2000s.

At the novel’s beginning, Simon, Klara, Daniel and Varya visit a medium during the tumultuous summer of 1969 in their New York City neighbourhood.

The chapters that follow depict each diving into their respective lives, both testing and tempting fate.

Simon comes out as gay and becomes a professional ballet dancer in San Francisco; Klara becomes a magician in Las Vegas; Daniel becomes an army doctor; Varya becomes a scientific researcher studying longevity.

Do the psychic’s predictions come true? No spoilers here. You’ll have to find out by checking The Immortalists out of your local library.

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