A novel set in contemporary New York about a woman who been alive for several thousand years, all because of a promise she made centuries ago in Old Jerusalem to forgo physical death for all eternity to save her child.
a tour-de-force examination of the role death plays in a meaningful life; of love — both maternal and romantic — that endures beyond time; and of the relevance of religion in a changing universe. These are weighty topics, indeed, but author Dara Horn navigates them with a light touch, creating a tale that is both page turner and philosophical treatise on humanity’s timeless quest for meaning ... while there is plenty of sorrow in this sometimes-harrowing novel, it is also a slyly funny and ultimately hopeful take on the human condition and our ability as a species to find joy, even amid the ashes.
Rachel’s isn’t a simple story about a ghoulish pursuer and a victimized woman. She constantly yearns for him, waits impatiently for his arrival, kisses him with relief when he finally appears. There’s a pathology about it … Eternal Life is resolutely forward-looking — it even features a crucial plot point that involves a cryptocurrency mining rig. At the end of the book, Rachel finds herself holding a newborn in one hand and a smartphone — that symbol of our age — in the other, awash in an unusual sense of peace and possibility.
The origins of Rachel’s predicament date back to the days of the Roman occupation of Jerusalem, a world Horn recreates with a deft and convincing touch ... the question at the heart of this wise and appealing novel is finally not how Rachel finds meaning in her eternal life. It is how we, despite our portions of sorrow, tedium and disaster, persist in finding meaning in ours.