As you all know by now, I’m reading The Immortalists by Chloe Benjamin. Thus far we’ve spent the last forty years keeping a close eye on the Gold children, who visited a psychic back in 1969. The Jewish siblings, let their curiosity guide them to a woman on Hester street and her prophecies sets each Gold child on a different path.
Simon discovers his sexuality, true love and a hidden talent. But his bright stars burns out with the introduction of the AIDS virus. Guilt-ridden for encouraging Simon to chase after his desires, (and therefore urging him to live his best GAY life) Klara embraces her magical talents, her grandmother’s legacy and the other world that seems to be beckoning to her. She takes her own life ensuring her prophecy comes true.
I managed to lightly skim a few GoodReads reviews and I completely disagree with whoever said the third chapter is when things get boring.
The chapters following the murky death of Klara Gold belong to her oldest brother Daniel, a military doctor who seems to be on the verge of a nervous breakdown. He recalls meeting his wife, their wedding day and glaze over the parts of their lives that overlapped Klara’s.
Daniel’s final days begin with a two week suspension unjustly given by a superior officer demanding he approve more soldiers for the “war” in Iraq. Daniel is committed to the service but does his best not to send anyone who isn’t medically ready.
With his free time that he never asked for Daniel finds his mind returning to the woman on Hester street. His date is fast approaching and there’s no real indicator that his time is up.
So Benjamin gives him a push in the right direction. The gentleman we meet in Simon’s chapter, Officer Eddie O’Donoghue who seems to be unluckily and inexplicably linked to each of them has arrived to give closure on a fourteen year case.
After discovering Klara’s dangling body, he’s befriended Daniel, claims to have been in love with her and gets the inclination that her death may not have been a suicide. (It so obviously was🤔)
Daniel’s revelation about the woman on Hester street finally discloses her identity to the reader. She is a Romani gypsy. Bruna Costella is not like her family and her gifts aren’t a hoax.
Daniel’s descent into madness is far more chilling than Klara’s wracked with guilt for not being more involved with his siblings he goes from respectable citizen to domestic terrorist.
Have You Been Reading Along?
What is Eddie’s True Role in This Story?