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The Immortalists by Chloe Benjamin revolves around the consequences of knowing the date of one’s death. The following book club questions will have spoilers so if you haven’t read the novel yet, check out my preview and review first.
The four Gold children decide to tempt fate when they find out the date of their deaths from a psychic. 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.
Let’s get into the book club questions
- This is a book about the line between destiny and choice. Do you believe the psychic truly saw their end-dates? Or do you believe she was a fake?
- Why do you think the Gold siblings couldn’t shake her predictions?
- Do you think Simon would have gone to San Fransisco had he not visited the psychic? Would he have had the same fate if he stayed in New York?
- Why was Klara so enamored by magic?
- What does the title The Immortalists represent?
- Were you surprised by Daniel’s decision to confront the psychic? Why do you think he couldn’t let it go? How did the argument with Raj impact him? What was he trying to prove to everyone?
- This passage stuck out when Daniel confronts the psychic: “…in which his decision was rigged from the start, because the woman has some foresight he can’t understand, or because he is weak enough to believe this.” What was Daniel slowly realizing there?
- How does Varya’s OCD impact her ability to live a ‘normal’ life? Why do you think she’s so cold in nature? Were you surprised she had a baby that she gave up?
- Which of the four storylines were you most interested in? Which one the least? Did you like the characters or did you find them unlikeable?
- Are these siblings dying on the specified date because of fate or is it choice?
- Do you believe any of the Gold siblings truly lived life to the fullest?
- Let’s talk the dynamic between Ruby and Gertie, one of the few happy relationships in this read.
- Were you satisfied by the ending? Why or why not?
- What happens next for Varya now that she has clarity of her past, present and future?
- Would you see a psychic to find this out for yourself? Why or why not?
- What would you do with your life if you knew for certain you only had limited time?
Next on my TBR (to be read) list
A Place for Us by Fatima Farheen Mirzais next on my list. Check out my preview here.
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