Eternal Life by Dara Horn
Reviewed by: Jennifer Chretien, Reference Librarian
Rating: 4 stars
Thousands of years ago, Rachel made a terrible bargain with God to save the life of her first born son. In exchange, she unknowingly gave up her ability to die. Ever since, she has lived lifetime after lifetime in very much the same way: marriage, children, grandchildren, death of loved ones, and then eventually rebirth back to her 18 year old self. As society becomes more technologically sophisticated, it becomes more difficult to establish a new identity. With scientific advances, Rachel is both afraid and excited to learn her death might at last be within reach.
This was an instantaneously engrossing novel. It was intense, thrilling, but also philosophical and touching. Horn does a brilliant job weaving Jewish cultural and historical details to make this story believable. Truthfully, I would have enjoyed more attention paid to Rachel's earlier incarnations than the present one. It's not that the present day plot wasn't enjoyable; it's just that the past lives were more riveting. If you are looking for something a little bit different, with a plot that leaves you questioning how you would feel about living forever, Eternal Life is the book for you.