This novel ask an interesting question, how would you live your life if it was foretold to you the day of your death? Four siblings are foretold their death date and we see how they live their life and if the predictions are accurate or not. I enjoyed this novel a great deal, it analyzed character that are some what likeable and man do they have flaws. This novel wraps up really well asking the reader to question what is a well lived life?
The novel is told as a short story and 4 novellas, which reminded me of Salinger’s Franny and Zoey by story structure. The short story is how the four siblings find out about their deaths, Then Simon’s story of his life as a teenager in San Fransisco at the start of the Aids epidemic, To Klara who becomes a Las Vegas magician, to Daniel who is a army medic post 9/11, to Varya who is trying to understand about life by studying chimps.
What I liked in this book: The character relationships and connections how they’re connected. How the family history is traced through moments, reminded me of the novel Life After Life. The characters make tough decisions, a lot of the time wrong, as a reader I was sometimes frustrated, but there choices are still very real and you still end up liking them. I liked the beginning, Simon’s, Klara’s and Daniel’s stories. The last two have some intense moments and did not go the way I thought they would.
What I didn’t like: the last story was kind of a let down it focus on one moment where the other characters had other moments that lead up to their choices. The dropping of Eddie the cop’s character is tragic since his story interacted with everyone but Varya, and how he affects two of the siblings, I wanted closure for this character, but there was none.
I would recommend this book for people that like book about the past, the San Fransisco of the 70’s was really clear and vivid. I learned a lot about the aids crisis and the timeline of the epidemic. Also if you enjoy books about family history life the excellent Life after Life. I was very close to giving this book five stars because it really made me think of my own choices in life but, that last story really killed all the momentum the book was heading, so I would rate this 4.3 stars. I will say it is still my favorite book of 2018 so far.