“I love you all, I love you all, I love you all.”
Simon, Klara, Daniel, and Varya are four siblings who traipse through the streets of New York as children, on a mission to visit the woman on Hester Street. It is rumored that this gypsy-woman can tell you the exact date you’re going to die, and it’s Daniel’s idea to see for himself if this lady is all she’s cracked up to be. One at a time, the siblings enter the psychic’s lair, and one-by-one they hear their fortunes. The prophecies they heard that night stick with them and are never far from their thoughts. The siblings eventually grow up a bit and go their separate ways, but they are bound together by the eeriness of the woman’s predictions. This novel follows the decades after that fateful evening, detailing the things that happen in their lives and how they always seem to draw their thoughts back to the night they learned their fates—could the woman really have known? All four siblings are strikingly different, yet they’re all a little bit selfish and little bit unapologetically familial. They fall apart and come back together when it matters most, and when–if the prophecies are true–it really doesn’t matter at all.
This book is ah-mazing. Each sibling’s story was just as powerful and engaging as the next one’s. I thought (and maybe this was intentional) that the connection flowed a little easier between Simon’s section and Klara’s section than it did for the other siblings. Like it was pretty fluid up until Daniel’s and Varya’s sections, which I felt to be a bit disconnected from the first two stories. Other than that, this is a can’t miss for 2018 for sure. It’s unlike anything I’ve read, and I think its uniqueness made it more intriguing for me. I felt like I was part of the family as I read along—All. The. Emotions. I would say it’s a mostly realistic fiction novel with some fantasy intertwined—so I’m not sure what genre that would be—and as you know, I’m not usually a fantasy/sci-fi gal, but this one was more real than it was outlandish. Regardless, it’s a great book that is perfect for a thought-provoking book club discussion! It’s also the Belletrist Book Club pick for January! [[RATING: 4 out of 5 Stars]] Also by Chloe Benjamin: The Anatomy of Dreams