Friday, 19 August 2016

Review: Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt

Title: Tuck Everlasting
Author: Natalie Babbitt
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
Pages: 144
Genres: Childrens, Classics

Tuck Everlasting
Doomed to - or blessed with - eternal life after drinking from a magic spring, the Tuck family wanders about trying to live as inconspicuously and comfortably as they can. When ten year old Winnie Foster stumbles on their secret, the Tucks kidnap her and explain why living forever at one age is less than a blessing that it might seem.

A beautiful book following privileged ten year old Winnie Foster, as she inadvertently stumbles upon Jesse Tuck on her family's land drinking from a mysterious spring. Jesse panics and whisks away Winnie to spend some time with his immortal family, as they try to convince her to keep the spring a secret.

There was a lot of issues to ponder in this book which is impressive considering the story is less than 150 pages. The main question being, is immortality a blessing or a curse? Jesse Tuck seems to think of it as a blessing whilst the rest of his family seem to view it as a curse. I am of the view it would be a curse because:

First, it would be exhausting trying to hide it.

And second, what would happen if by some miracle one could live for thousands of years without detection and the human race (if it's still around) had evolved to look different?

Third, what if the planet was destroyed before technology allowed escape? Would people who are immortal just have to float aimlessly around in space forever?

And fourth, how many identities would an immortal person have to go through, always struggling to get the relevant paperwork? There is just no hiding immortality especially as the modern world moves on.

Fifth, what would happen if the government or some sort of organisation figured it out? How easy is it for someone now to live completely off the grid forever? So many questions! I would decline immortality, it would be fun for a few hundred years but forever is a long dang time and I just don't see how it could feasibly work out.

That was a long tangent! Needless to say I loved this book and the ending was just perfection. I think realising the absurdity of immortality, and how harmful it would truly be to an individual helps to better understand and accept death as part of the natural course of life. Tuck Everlasting is a brilliant children's book to inspire philosophical discussions, cannot recommend enough.

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