Title: The Immoralists
Author: Chloe Benjamin
Publisher: Putnam 2018
Rating: 4/5 stars
If you knew the date of your death, how would you live your life?
It's 1969 in New York City's Lower East Side, and word has spread of the arrival of a mystical woman, a traveling psychic who claims to be able to tell anyone the day they will die. The Gold children—four adolescents on the cusp of self-awareness—sneak out to hear their fortunes.
The prophecies inform their next five decades. Golden-boy Simon escapes to the West Coast, searching for love in '80s San Francisco; dreamy Klara becomes a Las Vegas magician, obsessed with blurring reality and fantasy; eldest son Daniel seeks security as an army doctor post-9/11; and bookish Varya throws herself into longevity research, where she tests the boundary between science and immortality.
Full disclosure: I almost gave up on this book. I read the first section, Simon’s story, and almost couldn’t continue. It was so devastating and emotional that I expressed interest in wanting a break and possibly turning to a lighter read. Instead, I sat down the next day and sped through Klara’s story and into Daniel’s. I ended up finishing the book and really enjoying it. I just have to say that this one is very emotional. Klara’s story was my favorite. I feel for her drive for something different and free -spirit ways. Daniel’s story ended up being my least favorite; I just didn’t connect to him as a character. In the end, this is a wonderful character study of a family.
Next up on the TBR pile: