Eternal Life

Dara Horn. Norton, $25.95 (256p) ISBN 978-0-393-60853-3
At the heart of Horn’s funny and compassionate novel is a 2,000-year-old Jewish mother seeking reasons for living, some way of dying, and help for her 56-year-old son who lives in her basement. Rachel’s story begins in Roman-occupied Jerusalem, where at 16 she marries her father’s apprentice although she loves the high priest’s son, Elazar, and is pregnant with Elazar’s baby. Two years later, when the child falls ill, Rachel makes a bargain with God: she must give up not her life but her death in exchange for the child’s survival. The child survives, and Rachel endures successive lifetimes over the next 20 centuries, each lifetime immediately following the previous. Elazar, having made a similar bargain, pursues Rachel through time, occasionally finding her, though never for long. Now in 21st-century New York, Rachel’s current form (or “version,” as she calls it) is an 84-year-old widow. She thinks she has found a way to finally die, but first she wants to see her current problem child, the one in the basement, get a life. She also wishes to protect her granddaughter, a medical researcher dangerously close to discovering the truth behind Rachel’s unusual DNA. Horn (A Guide for the Perplexed) weaves historical detail and down-to-earth humor into this charming Jewish Groundhog Day spanning two millennia. (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 10/30/2017
Release date: 01/01/2018
Genre: Fiction
Open Ebook - 978-0-393-60854-0
Paperback - 256 pages - 978-0-393-35656-4
Library Binding - 372 pages - 978-1-4328-4913-9
Show other formats
FORMATS
Discover what to read next
TIP SHEET
MORE BOOKS YOU'D LIKE
X
X