Join us on Monday, October 18th to discuss The Guest List by Lucy Foley. We will meet outdoors, weather permitting, at 6:30pm. In the event of poor weather we will discuss the book virtually via Zoom at 7pm. Contact Elizabeth for details.
In November, Fixed on Fiction met to discuss The Immortalists by Chloe Benjamin-
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.
-Summary courtesy of Goodreads.
The Immortalists received thumbs-up and so-so votes in FoF, no thumbs down! Here are some of comments readers made while explaining their reaction to the book:
- I felt like it was a train wreck in the beginning, but I ended up loving it. I had a hard time dealing with the family being so angry at Simon for leaving. I also struggled to read the scenes that took place in the lab. Her son arriving was an interesting twist and I loved that we were invited to consider living a full life vs. longevity.
- I enjoyed it. A little hard to read- no one seemed very happy. And of course I was wondering if they died simply because she planted that seed?
- It was an interesting read for me as an only child- it gave me insight into how siblings are connected.
- A mixed bag- so-so. Benjamin had a lot of insightful things to say about humanity and I liked her writing style. I liked Simon’s story and Varya’s. I had a hard time believing Daniel’s breakdown- it seemed too sudden and out of character.
- I didn’t really like any of the characters very much. I liked Simon’s section, but his death was so predictable and sad. I also liked the writing style.
- I couldn’t BELIEVE the siblings didn’t share their dates with one another.
- Very well-written. A little contrived in terms of certain characters conveniently appearing throughout the book (the cop).
- I thought the family was very believable. Siblings are often very close when they’re young but they drift apart when they’re older.
These are just a few comments made during our discussion, please feel free to share additional thoughts on The Immortalists in the comments section below.