The Immortalists by Chloe Benjamin

The Immortalists - Chloe Benjamin

'The Immortalists' had a fantastic start - after hearing so much praise about it from customers I went out on a limb and bought a copy for myself. The premise is that in 1969 four siblings seek out a fortune teller who knows when people will die. 

 

What they hear will effect the rest of their lives. 

 

The book is broken out into four sections, one for each sibling in order of when they are predicted to die. Simon, saying only that he will die young, is convinced by his sister Klara to run away to San Francisco at 16 in the mid 70s and experiences all the love (and hedonism) of the era. We all know how that ends - but the writing was compelling enough to keep me interested.

 

It begins to fall apart during Klara's story. She is upset at her brother's death and the only one who knows that his death was on the date predicted by the fortune teller. She seeks to become a magician and a star but about halfway through her narrative it falls apart. Her problems were not unrealistic, far from it, but the spark had left the writing. 

 

That is really helpful criticism, but I can't put my finger on why I lost interest. This only got worse as we got into Daniel's story and I was skimming by the time I got to the eldest (and last surviving) Gold sibling. 

 

A lot of people like this one, I'll have to quiz some customers later and hear what they liked about the second half of the book.