The Immortalists by Chloe Benjamin | Book Review

Rating: 7/10

Format: Audio-Book – Library

I won’t lie to you, I loves me a book about a sibling group. I don’t know why. There’s just something interesting about that special bond siblings have. I also enjoy a story that spans several decades, which this one definitely does. Beautifully imagined and decidedly elegiac, this is something I can feel good recommending. To some people.

The Gold children go to see a magic woman. She’s supposedly a psychic– they enter one at a time, down to tiny Simon. When they come out, they know their death dates. Some choose to believe it, some can’t. The impact of the woman’s words still echoes through their lives, whether they take her word for it or not.

With this information, the Gold children split off in different directions. We get to see so many amazing places and settings. The magical realism of the magic woman doesn’t cross into the rest of the book, which is decidedly normal. If you’re picking this book up for something fantastical you’ll be sorely disappointed by 3/4 of the siblings’ stories.

The writing is fairly stark, and sometimes jarringly sexual. For a book that’s short on romance, it seems like there’s a lot of sex. Yep, sex and open talk about bodies and genitalia– which is maybe weird in a book about siblings? There’s no incest in the book, just to be clear, but it did strike me as a little off-key.

If you’re interested in character studies, fate vs. choices, or even historical fiction, this might be a good choice for you. If you’re looking for a warm family tale, you’re barking up the wrong tree with Benjamin’s dark and stark tales.

Objective Rating: 4/5

Subjective Rating: 3/5

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