Book Review: Immortal Beloved

Did you ever stumble upon a book that was exactly what you needed to read at that exact time? That’s what happened to me with Cate Tiernan’s  Immortal Beloved.

At the LA SCBWI Summer Conference, there was a pizza party and book signing party for all SCBWI members with published novels. This is my favorite way to stumble on new books. By reading the backs and meeting the authors.

Anyway, I was making my way around the room when Immortal Beloved grabbed my attention. Partly because I have a manuscript with immortals and partly because I loved the title and the cover. I picked it up and perused the back cover.

The first line on the back cover grabbed me “Nothing ever really ends when you’re immortal.”

The author, Cate Tiernan, was very friendly. Something in her face sold me on the book. She kindly autographed it and I moved along to discover a few more books.

Anyway, throughout the conference I kept running into Cate. The poor woman must have thought I was stalking her. But I think the universe was telling me to talk to her. So I did.

And I decided to read her book first (of the dozen I purchased at the conference).

I’m so glad I did. Because I needed to hear her words so badly.

I needed to hear Nastasya’s story. I needed to be there for her soul searching  and her realizations.

And I walked away with a new perspective on my life.

That’s the power of the right book at the right time.

Here’s what Publisher’s Weekly had to say about the book:

“Born in 1551, Nastasya is immortal, wealthy, and at the end of her rope. After centuries of hedonism, one casually cruel moment in present-day London shatters her composure and leaves her grasping at the slimmest of chances to save her sense of humanity. That chance takes the form of River’s Edge, a farm and retreat in the heart of Massachusetts, where a varied group of immortals seek to regain the immediacy and emotion of life fully lived. It’s not an easy fit for Nastasya, and as she learns about her companions, the ghosts of her long and dark past rise vividly to haunt her.”

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22 Responses to Book Review: Immortal Beloved

  1. CC MacKenzie says:

    Love the premise. And it’s interesting isn’t it when thinking about immortality that it is possible to lose our humanity. Or is the opposite also possible? That an immortal may be tortured by how humans continue to lack humanity and learn from the lessons of the past? Just thinking out loud!

    Great post.

    • It was very cool. I loved how she had to rediscover her humanity through the mundane. Through caring about the little things in life. I think both are possible. Imagine having to endure 100s of years of war and famine and brutality. You’d have to shut down to survive.

      Thanks! It was a really cool book. 🙂

  2. Carrie Rubin says:

    What a unique premise. Sounds intriguing. :

  3. themadgayman says:

    I LOVE CATE TIERNAN! Her “Sweep” series is amazing. It’s a young adult series, but it’s about witches and she did such an amazing job at bringing this world to life without it becoming another Harry Potter (which was popular at the time).

    I would love to meet her. She sounds amazing. When is the next conference!? I want to go.

  4. 4amWriter says:

    This actually sounds very cool, and I don’t usually read that genre unless the writing is superb. How neat that you got to meet the author!

    • It was one of those books where the theme and the meaning resonate with you for a while. 🙂 It was really awesome, she is one of those people you just feel immediately at ease with.

  5. Subtlekate says:

    This sounds really good. Going to check it out.

    • It was a really cool YA that had an attraction without a romance per se. That was a nice break. The story focused on an immortal coming to terms with who and what she was, which meant delving into her past and trying to find some closure.

      • Subtlekate says:

        It’s great to come across some YA with out the romance. This is one I can read and my son can read as well.

        • I have to warn you, the romance aspect is supposed to get stronger in book 2 and 3, but I haven’t read them yet so I don’t know. But I think this book is definitely good for boys and girls. Another great boy YA would be Chris Crutcher’s Deadline, it’s got a male protagonist who finds out he has a blood disease that is terminal. He decides to live his senior year to the fullest. That was an awesome book. 🙂

  6. Okay, wow. I’m buying it–sold on both your recommendation and on the summary you quoted from it. Hope you’re having a good weekend!

    • Publisher’s Weekly gives awesome summaries. 🙂 I’m glad you enjoyed my recommendation too. It was one of those books I felt like I was meant to read. 🙂 A very productive revision weekend. I stepped outside twice for 15 minutes. But it feels like the manuscript is coming along!

  7. Debra Kristi says:

    Thank you for sharing Kourtney. The emotions and their view on life is something I have explored a lot. This book sounds very intriguing. I’m so glad you liked it. I may have to check it out as well. Sometimes it is the little things we need to focus on, isn’t it?

    • The day to day things that we do tend to give us perspective. If we are invested in our activities, it definitely shows and it definitely grounds us. 🙂 I like books that make me think and that have themes and big messages that come to me after a couple days. Subtle but Oh-I-get-it kind of books. 🙂

  8. Ok, must locate this one in the library (It’s always interesting to talk with the authors, isn’t it?)

Any thoughts or reactions or favorite foods you want to share?