Tag Archives: Grief

Review: The Immortalists

The Immortalists

The Immortalists
By Chloe Benjamin
G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 9780735213180, January 2018, 352pp.

The Short of It:

Would knowing the date of your death change the way you live?

The Rest of It:

The Immortalists asks you to push your disbelief aside in order to ask yourself that very question and for many readers I think this is impossible to do. I, however, had no problem suspending my disbelief for the sake of the story.

After the encouragement of their older brother Daniel, Varya, Klara and Simon head to a fortune-teller who provides each of the four siblings with the date of their death. This is particularly concerning to young Simon, because he’s told that he will die very young. Klara, is also told that she will die fairly young. Knowing this information, the two take off for San Francisco in their teens so they can live their lives to the fullest but what follows is a tragic host of events which ultimately affect their lives and the lives of their siblings.

The Immortalists is not a perfect story. Nor is it executed all that well but I did find myself liking Simon’s story quite a bit. As a young gay, Jewish man, the responsibility of running his father’s tailor shop for the rest of his life proved too much for him. I feel that of all the siblings, Simon’s story was the most realistic and yes, the most tragic. I would have been just fine had the entire story been about Simon but that was not the case.

All in all, the other stories didn’t fit together well but I still enjoyed the lead-up, except for some very convenient plot lines. As a book club pick, some liked it, many didn’t but we still had a decent discussion.

Would you want to know the date of your death? Personally, I would not want to know mine.

Source: Borrowed
Disclosure: This post contains Indiebound affiliate links.

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Review: Go Ask Fannie

Go Ask Fannie

Go Ask Fannie
By Elisabeth Hyde
G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 9780735218567, April 10, 2018, 304pp.

The Short of It:

This family’s story tugged at my heart.

The Rest of It:

Murray Blaire is getting on in years. At 81, he’s set in his ways but still present enough to know the importance of family. In an attempt to convince his youngest adult daughter that the man she is seeing is far too old for her and a real jerk, he invites his three children up for a long weekend.

Ruth as the eldest, figures it’s a good time to discuss the possibility of long-term care before her father actually needs it but Lizzie and George and most of all, Murray, just aren’t ready to talk about it. Plus, Lizzie quickly figures out the real reason for the visit and although she realizes she made many mistakes in her life, she’s not quite ready to address them. Certainly not in front of her judgmental older sister.

This is family drama at its best. Go Ask Fannie is a touching story about what it takes to have a successful marriage and raise a family while still maintaining a sense of self. Lillian and Murray lived a wonderful life but her death and the death of their son Daniel place a cloud over this family that cannot be ignored. Murray’s grief and the weight of loss his kids carry is palpable. It’s a story about missed opportunities and second chances. It’s sweet and well-told and comes together beautifully at the end.

Elisabeth Hyde is a new-to-me author but I really enjoyed her writing. Go Ask Fannie is a book many will enjoy this summer.

Source: Review copy provided by the publisher.
Disclosure: This post contains Indiebound affiliate links.