The Suicide Club
by Rachel Heng
Hardcover, 352 pages
31 July 2018, Henry Holt and Co.
Rating: 4 / 5 stars
The America that is portrayed in this novel is a place where your worth is determined at birth by what genes you carry, and whether you will be chosen to receive the life-extending maintenance that will allow a person to live for hundreds of years, or not. The chosen are “lifers”, those who are not are deemed “sub-100”. There is a distinct difference in options for careers and thus lifestyles between the two categories. Adherence to the guidelines set out for the lifers are mandatory, with consequences for those thought to be “anti-sanct”.
Lea is a lifer. She’s already over 100, is looking forward to a promotion and has everything going for her – until she catches a glimpse of a man in a crowd and distracted, suffers an injury, which then puts her on the radar as a person who is potentially anti-sanct, and who may not be as life loving as is required. Under observation, she attends meetings that are supposed to guide her back into the fold, but instead, Lea meets Anja and subsequently starts thinking differently about the world she lives in and the quality of the life she is chasing.
This novel examines the idea of immortality, and the cost of eternal life. It also portrays a frightening level of government intrusion and regulation. Who is Lea – and who does she want to be? What role do our parents have in shaping our ideas of self and worth? Suicide Club asks hard questions and will leave you thinking after you’ve finished reading.
(I received an advanced copy of this book from #netgalley in exchange for an honest review.)