Tag Archives: Siblings

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: The Nest

The Nest
The Nest
By Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney
Ecco Press, Hardcover, 9780062414212, March 2016, 368pp.

The Short of It:

One sibling’s poor decision ends up jeopardizing the nest egg that his other siblings have come to rely on.

The Rest of It:

Family secrets and money. The two seem to go hand in hand and that is most definitely the case here. The Plumb family is dysfunctional but also somewhat typical in that they all have their own unique issues to deal with.

When Leo’s drunk driving results in the injury of a young woman, a woman who is not his wife, the nest egg that all of this siblings expected to receive when the youngest turned forty, is instead used to keep things quiet. This upsets them and they react to the news in different ways.Threatened by their predicament, they turn towards each other for support.

This was a pretty good read. At first, it felt a little superficial but it quickly turned into something much more complex. Whenever people are thrown into a difficult situation, how they recover and what they do next says a lot about them. These siblings are forced to “make it work” and although there is worry and stress and plenty of resentment, there is also a family bond that can’t be ignored.

Overall, a very good read.

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