Eternal Life

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 31 Dec 2017

Member Reviews

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to live forever, to never die? I know as I am now living in the second half life, assuming that fifty is the midpoint, I start to chant the Jewish blessing as an incantation, "May you live to 120". It is based on the most often cited sources in Bereishit (Genesis) 6:3 and in Devarim (Deuteronomy) 34:7. The age of Moses upon his death is given as 120, and the text explains, "his eye had not dimmed, and his vigor had not diminished." That is also important, that we live a long healthy and happy life. The idea being that life is so enjoyable that we do not want to leave.

Author, Dara Horn has given us a novel that will...

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This was absolutely what it said it was going to be; I loved this book. I'm fascinated by books about immortality, and this one managed to take on this fairly common plot line in a unique way, giving me a fair few moments of surprise.
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This book rattled around in my head for days after reading it. So beautifully haunting, especially to a parent.
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Dara Horn’s Eternal Life 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...

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Eternal Life by Dara Horn follows the story of Rachel, who was born 2,000 years ago in Roman-occupied Jerusalem. She and her true love, Elazar, sacrifice their deaths to save the live of their son. While the idea of immortality may be appealing, this book shows the toil of being unable to die. Eternal life comes at a high price when you must see those you love die.
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This is a humorous and thoughtful look at the meaning of life and the purpose of death. I couldn't put this down as i was curious as to how the author could make her thesis work---Rachael has been alive for 2000 years and she desperately wants to die.
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Rachel was a young girl growing up about 2000 Years ago in what is present day Israel. She met a young man who was a member of the priesthood. Elazar and Rachel fell in love. But her parents prohibited a marriage between them and forbid any further contact between the lovers. In accordance with the custom at the time her parents arranged a wedding for her with Zakkar whom they considered a more serious and better match for their daughter. Two big problems presented themselves to Rachel. Number one she was pregnant with Elazar's baby and second she found Zakkar boring and rather dull.
When the baby was born he turned out to be very sickly and was soon close to death. Rachel was...

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This was an interesting take on the story of Immortals. Nice story although the ending didn’t make as much sense. She wanted to die and then suddenly she changes her mind, although she’s been through thousands of faked deaths similar to this one. Because of that, the ending seemed very rushed. Is there going to be a sequel that explains more?
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What is a human life worth? For a mother like Rachel, the protagonist of Dara Horn’s Eternal Life, the life of her son is worth everything she can give. But, in her rush to save her son, Rachel neglects to read the fine print when she gives up her death so that her son will survive a terrible illness. Ever since that day two thousand years ago, Rachel has been wandering the earth raising family after family, wondering if it was really worth it.

The first hints that not all is right with Rachel come when she refers to her very many sons and daughters, more than a woman could ever have in one lifetime. Then there are all the languages she knows and occupations she’s held over the centuries...

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Rachel cannot die, and it takes her centuries to learn what is important to her.  Her experiences make us look at our own lives and live in the moment, appreciating who we are with and the things which truly matter. I especially found it interesting that she would see her former children in current children and be reminded of people she loved lifetimes ago in the current day.  It reminds me how closely connected we are to former & future generations and that whatever our differences may be we all share love of family.
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I have always been a great admirer of Dara Horn, and this book is without a doubt just as well-written as her previous titles. However, the premise proves a bit too difficult for her to pull off with complete success—a young Jewish woman and her lover receive the gift/curse of eternal life near the beginning of the Common Era and encounter each other again and again over the subsequent millennia. There are large themes here that are hard for the author to focus on because she has so much world-building to do, so many details to attend to. Not her best work.
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A unique and creative idea, I thought the topic was handled decently by the author.  Unfortunately, while I don't mind some religious elements in a novel, those involved in this book seemed a bit overwhelming.  I understand how faith is necessary to this story, but it was a bit off putting for me.  Overall, I was more curious in some of the other lives in the near past than the constant return to the 'far' past.  I would recommend this book, but with some hesitations.
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I have to admit that this book took me a little while to get into but once I did wow!!  A definite must read!!
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What a wonderful book. The characters are believeable and the plot is perfectly paced. The religious elements are interwoven in a way that’s respectful and subtle. I love stories about people with long life and this one delivered with a story that felt fresh and new.
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I am not sure where to start with this book, I loved the sound of it and couldn't wait to read it so much so that I bumped it up my reading list.It was a brilliant idea but I found it hard to get into, I didn't really like the main character and found the time jumps confusing although I shouldn't have done really.I feel so disappointed I so wanted to enjoy this book .I do think the idea was a cracking one and maybe it was just me I hope so, and really hope others will enjoy this more than I did.Thanks to the publishers and netgalley for an ARC.
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A woman living in modern times who has lived for thousands of years and cannot die tells her story. A compelling and entertaining premise, but the execution didn’t enthrall me. This one was a “did not finish” for me.
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Rachel and Elazar make a vow to god in the first century CE trading their deaths for the life of their son. So begins Rachel's very long journey to come to terms with the unique life she must live. Eternal Life explores what it means to really live, especially when there is no true end to your life. I loved the beginning of this book, but felt like the story got lost in itself toward the end. I may not have loved all of this book, but I really like that it made me think.
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This latest book by Dara Horn flows from the Priestly era in Jerusalem to modern day America. Its constants are Rachel, daughter of Azaria, a scribe, and Elazar, son of Hanania the high priest. Historically there was a high priest named Ananias son of Nedebeus who officiated from CE 47 to 52 and who had a son named Eliezer, one of the leaders of the Great Revolt of Judea. That puts them at the right time historically. I believe that Rachel is a wholly fictitious character.

Rachel is a woman who has outlived scores of children, grandchildren and husbands. Because the first Rachel had no brothers and was the youngest child born to Azaria, she was entrusted with being his messenger. a...

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Eternal Life takes the reader on Rachel Azaria's two thousand year journey, a journey she embarks upon when she gives up her death in order to save her first son. This book explores questions that will provoke dynamic conversations among readers, such as would someone blessed (or cursed) with immortality make the same decisions over again when starting over again in a new life with a new family in a new country? Joining Rachel throughout her journey is the father of her first son, the only person who understands what she has experienced, and who refuses to give up on the notion that they are meant to be together despite Rachel's fears and objections. The reader witnesses the...

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Eternal Life by Dara Horn is one of those books that made me happy I read it. It follows a girl named Rachel through her very, very long life. 2000 years ago, Rachel made a vow to save her child's life in the Holy Temple in Jerusalem, a vow that saved her child but stopped her from dying. Now Rachel has lived 2000 years, buried thousands of children and husbands and grandchildren, and is desperate for it to all finally be over.

I was totally swept up in this book. I could barely put it down. As someone who grew up learning about Jewish history, the descriptions of Rachel's life 2000 years were utterly fascinating. Horn's writing is so beautiful but also easy to digest. She...

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