The Immortalists by Chloe Benjamin

The Immortalists by Chloe Benjamin was published by Random House on January 9th 2018. I accessed this book through Audible (and consequentially do not have specific page numbers). It has been on the New York Times Best Sellers list since its release.

 

The book follows a Jewish family living in New York in the 1970’s. The four children of the family see a fortune teller when they are  very young who tells them the dates they will each die. The story unfolds as they each sibling grows up and die respectively. Throughout the story we hear mentions of the Holocaust, but the biggest mention is near the end of the book. Here, the oldest daughter remembers her late father and his few stories of being held in a concentration camp. This storyline is used as device to affirm the parents’ strong Jewish faith, and the daughter reflects on how much she admired her father’s faith, despite herself and her siblings having stopped practicing Judaism.

 

The way this book depicts the memory of the Holocaust in an American family in this time period seems, to me, realistic. We’ve talked in our class about how important the need for telling what happened during the Holocaust to preserve memory and prevent reoccurrence is important to Jewish Americans. We see this trait greatly in the father, as even the memory of him sustains stories of the Holocaust for his children. I also like that this is from a fiction novel, which I feel is the category we pull the least amount of our pop culture references.

 

https://www.chloebenjaminbooks.com/the-immortalists/

One Reply to “The Immortalists by Chloe Benjamin”

  1. I read this book and really enjoyed it! I agree that the mention of the Holocaust situated the book showing their Jewish faith and also how this memory still affected their children today. It made the book more realistic to me.

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