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Eternal Life

by Dara Horn

Eternal Life by Dara Horn X
Eternal Life by Dara Horn
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  • Published Jan 2018
    256 pages
    Genre: Literary Fiction

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There are currently 22 member reviews
for Eternal Life
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  • BeckyH
    Eternal Life -- Not all it is cracked up to be
    So – was this a good book? It asks so many questions and doesn’t give many answers. The clear take away is: Be careful what you ask for – you might get it!
    What would it be like to never die? To always return as an eighteen year old when one “life” is ended? What if this was punishment for sin? How many times can a person reinvent themselves and adapt to changing values, science, language, culture, etc, etc. Those are some of the questions this novel tries to answer. Rachel, a complex character born in Jerusalem 2000 years ago, lives in the pages of this book for centuries as does her co-sinner and lover. A basic knowledge of Bible history and a smattering of knowledge of the Jewish faith will help the reader grasp the nuances of the tale. When we meet Rachel in this current age, Rachel is desperate to die – permanently.
    The book is well written, the characters are strong and sympathetic, the situation – well – that is a problem. First, the God who loves people, and is the God Rachel knows, wouldn’t condemn a penitent to an eternal punishment. The premise the plot is based on is false. Second, the probability of one person finding another in ancient times, or even in modern times, is minimal. So Rachel and Elazar would be unlikely to keep meeting. However, the questions the book asks are important to ponder.
    So – suspend belief and enjoy the writing and the characters. It is fiction after all!
    4 of 5 stars
  • Judi R. (Jericho, NY)
    Be careful what you wish for
    While today, scientists are studying how to prolong life and delay death, Rachel, in Dara Horn's new novel, Eternal Life, is trying not to live any longer. She has lived now for 2000 years. She begins each new life as an 18 year old but she brings the memories of all those centuries with her. Be careful what you wish for. Rachel has watched her husbands, children and grandchildren die while she keeps living. The only person who knows her true secret is her first love, Elazar, who is blessed, or cursed, with the same ability. Horn tells us this story in beautiful prose. This book will have you asking many thought provoking questions. One is literally, what is the meaning of life? I'm sure book clubs will have a field day discussing many of the issues Dara Horn raises in a splendidly written novel.
  • Caryl L. (Richmond, VA)
    Eternal Life
    A most unusual book! I would classify this book as sci-fic, which, admittedly, are not my favorite. The book consists of a series of vignettes in which the main characters appear. The message is that living forever is not great; in fact, pretty negative. The author points out all the unhappy sides of forever alive, i.e. watching your children grandchildren, great grandchildren, etc,etc, grow old and die.

    The book is well-written and enjoyable to read. Each vignette can catch your interest.
  • Rose N. (Saginaw, MI)
    Eternal life
    The idea of having an eternal earthly existence is a captivating premise. However the character of Rachel, the heroine of "Eternal Life", seems underdeveloped. Her various transformations through the ages are unsatisfying and somewhat shallow. This extends to the relationship with her many families, her supposed lover and their meetings through the years. I really tried to feel more attachment to and empathy for these characters and this story but I was left wanting more depth.
  • Barbara K. (Brooklyn, NY)
    Eternal Life
    Although it is well written, I couldn't 'bond' with Rachel, the main character who apparently cannot die. She raises a family, grows old, then at some point returns as an 18 year old and again forms a family. Also, the book is advertised as hilarious but I saw none of this hilarity in the writing. in good conscience, I cannot recommend this novel.
  • Lisa G. (Wheeling, IL)
    Eternal Life by Dara Horn
    I am only rating this book average since I found it hard to maintain my interest as the main character Rachel came back over and over as an 18 year old and watched many of her descendants die.She made a bargain that she would never die if her son, the famous biblical scholar, Yohanan Ben Zakkai, was allowed to live. The book alternated between the past and present with Rachel's granddaughter, another one of the many Hannah's, was trying to figure out why her grandma had the DNA of an 18 year old. The blurb on back cover called the book hilarious which I found disturbing since I thought it was anything but funny. I do not think it would be a good choice for my book group.
  • Leslie G. (Peabody, MA)
    Eternal Life
    As a long-time fan of Dara Horn's writing, I was eagerly awaiting her latest novel. Eternal Life explores an interesting premise--the concept of living forever on earth. However, I found the "magical realism" aspect of the novel a bit off-putting. Many sections of the book seemed somewhat vague and repetitious. Although Horn remains a favorite of mine, I enjoyed this novel less than I did her earlier works.


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