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The Immortalists

Cover: 'The Immortalists'

Staff Review: "The Immortalists" by Chloe Benjamin


In the summer of 1969, siblings Varya, Daniel, Klara and Simon visit a traveling psychic who claims to be able to tell people the day that they will die. The siblings, just children at the time, each receive their prediction separately. Some share their supposed death date with each other while some choose to keep the information to themselves.

The book then flashes forward and follows the siblings into adulthood, with each section of the book devoted to chronicling the life of each of the protagonists. There’s eldest sibling Varya, who becomes a genetic researcher focused on increasing the lifespan of humans; Daniel, who has become an Army doctor living in New York with his wife; Klara, an aspiring magician who hopes to inspire others with her illusions; and Simon, the baby of the family who flees New York to become a dancer in San Francisco.

It was most interesting to see how the psychic’s prediction affected each of the characters as they moved forward in life, with some choosing to live very carefully and calculated and others living more recklessly. I really enjoyed the writing style of author Chloe Benjamin, and appreciated how unique this story was. Benjamin did a great job of building anticipation and keeping the reader wondering if the psychic’s prophecies were correct or not. I’d recommend this title to anyone who enjoys fiction featuring sibling and family dynamics, and those who enjoy a taste of the supernatural.

Audience: adults | Genre: fiction

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