A New York Times Notable Book of 2018
Longlisted for the 2019 Simpson Family Literary Prize and the 2019 Wingate Prize
What would it really mean to live forever?
Rachel is a woman with a problem: she can’t die. Her recent troubles―widowhood, a failing business, an unemployed middle-aged son―are only the latest in a litany spanning dozens of countries, scores of marriages, and hundreds of children. In the 2,000 years since she made a spiritual bargain to save the life of her first son back in Roman-occupied Jerusalem, she’s tried everything to free herself, and only one other person in the world understands: a man she once loved passionately, who has been stalking her through the centuries, convinced they belong together forever.
But as the twenty-first century begins and her children and grandchildren―consumed with immortality in their own ways, from the frontiers of digital currency to genetic engineering―develop new technologies that could change her fate and theirs, Rachel knows she must find a way out.
Gripping, hilarious, and profoundly moving, Eternal Life celebrates the bonds between generations, the power of faith, the purpose of death, and the reasons for being alive.
“The chilling pathos of Dara Horn’s Eternal Life is bound to turn every mortal reader into a philosopher of cosmic joy.”— Cynthia Ozick, author of Foreign Bodies
“Eternal Life takes the psychological novel to places I’ve never seen before…Riveting, startling, hilarious, and sad—I’ve never read anything like it.” — Elif Batuman, author of The Idiot
“In Eternal Life, the familiar account of the joys and sorrows of motherhood turns strange and mythical. Wisdom literature is a rare thing, and even rarer when it arrives, as it does here, in a story so passionate and playful.” — Joshua Ferris, author of The Dinner Party
“An elegant musing on sacredness, history, and purpose that is, at the same time, a deliciously romantic, highly suspenseful page-turner.” — Geraldine Brooks, author of The Secret Chord