This tag line is what instantly drew me to this book and I knew I had to get my hands on a copy. I’d seen the title floating around a bit and heard some good things but not too much to make my expectations soar. Which I think is the best way to go into a book – with little to no expectations. But what I did know is that I was intensely interested in the story and what lay beneath the cover because even from the cover alone, I had a feeling this book would be special.
Every now and again, a book comes along that reminds you why you read. It reminds you why you reach for books again and again and again and why you find so much joy and clarity in other people’s words. The Immortalists was one of those books. It took me quite a while to read – a little under a month in fact – but I don’t believe that has any reflection on the book. It’s not a Thriller or a Mystery where you need to keep reading in order to find out the big twist. It’s not a romance where you wanna know if the boy got the girl. It’s a very steady, character-driven story about love, life, magic and death. And you can’t rush that. Not for a second.
So a little about the book. We start with our 4 main protagonists as children, Simon – the youngest, Klara, Daniel and Varya – the eldest who have gone to see a psychic whom they heard about through word of mouth. They’ve gone against the will of their parents who would have certainly not allowed it and they’ve gone because according to sources, this particular psychic can tell you the date you’re going to die. All four children enter the psychic’s room alone and leave with no idea how much that day has shaped the rest of their lives.
The book is split into 4 sections from then on of each of the siblings and where they go and what they do in the five decades after their visit with the psychic. We follow Simon and Klara to San Francisco where Simon finally has the chance to figure out who he really is and Klara on her mesmerizing journey as a Las Vegas magician, a morally-conflicted Daniel and finally Varya, who’s dedicated her life to science and the study of longevity. How much of an impact has the mysterious psychic woman all those years ago had on the four of them throughout their lives?
The Immortalists is one of those books I wish I could un-read so I could re-read it all over again for the first time. After having been reading this book for so long, I genuinely feel like there’s a gap in my life where the Gold children once were. I’ll never forget the Gold’s and they all brought so much to this story and their own stories left you with so much to think about. I don’t want to get into too much detail about any of them because of spoilers but I do want to mention Klara, who was clearly my favourite.
Klara is a magician who’s loved and practiced her slight of hand since she was a kid. My boyfriend is a magician, so a lot of the tricks she talks about, the methods and the inspiration behind them I truly understood because I’ve seen my boyfriend perform and practice some of the same tricks and I’ve certainly seen a lot of the “bigger” tricks Klara does being performed either on stage or on TV shows. The way Klara talks about magic and it’s place in the world is absolutely beautiful and it certainly gave me a new level of appreciation for what my boyfriend’s been doing since he was a kid too.
The Immortalists delves into so many different areas of life including love, relationships, dreams, fate, destiny, death, illness, morality, mortality and most importantly, family. The book itself doesn’t really have a story-line, the characters are the story-line. Their lives, everything that happens to them and how it’s all intertwined really is the heart of this story and in the time you’re reading this book, it’ll be the heart of your story too. Obviously with the main characters being 4 siblings, family plays the biggest and most vital role in this book and I found myself really crying at the end, not because it was particularly sad but because I don’t have any siblings and it made my heart feel really damn heavy.
If you knew the date of your death, how would you live your life?
The Immortalists is one of those books that only comes around every once in a while. It’ll consume you whilst you’re reading it and be all you can think about when you’ve finished. It’ll be the book you keep on your bookcase because when you look at the spine, you know the corners of your mouth will turn up. It’ll make you think about things you’ve never contemplated before and it’ll definitely be that book that you recommend to anyone that will listen.
And utterly magical but deeply moving story about four normal children, told in an extraordinary way. Dazzling.
Have you read this book yet? Will you be adding it to your Goodreads TBR?
* This book was sent to me in exchange for a fair and honest review. My thoughts are unbiased and entirely my own.