Review: Eternal Life

Dara Horn’s Eternal Life (W.W. Norton & Company, digital galley) is a touching story of faith, loss and family. The story’s heroine, Rachel, made a deal with God in Roman-occupied Jerusalem to trade her death for the life of her first-born son. Now, 2000 years later, Rachel struggles to find continued meaning in her never ending life.

As the years pass, Rachel has had to say goodbye to generation after generation of families she has reared, unable to let anyone know about her ordeal. And the way each generation experiences life and faith challenges Rachel’s own understanding of what it means to be alive.  To complicate matters, Rachel’s first love chases her across time, trying to rekindle a tragic romance she is desperate to forget.

Eternal Life seamlessly connects stories across millennia, as we watch Rachel suffer from a melancholia that grows from having to watch everyone she loves die. Rachel desperately tries to find a way out her bargain, but as she already knows, life doesn’t always deliver what you want.