Reluctant Immortals by Gwendolyn Kiste | Book Review

This was fun but it left me with some questions.

Reluctant Immortals by Gwendolyn Kiste

Released August 2022

Source: Library Borrow

Goodreads  | Amazon

For fans of Mexican Gothic, from three-time Bram Stoker Award–winning author Gwendolyn Kiste comes a novel inspired by the untold stories of forgotten women in classic literature--from Lucy Westenra, a victim of Stoker’s Dracula, and Bertha Mason, from Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre--as they band together to combat the toxic men bent on destroying their lives, set against the backdrop of the Summer of Love, Haight-Ashbury, 1967.

Reluctant Immortals is a historical horror novel that looks at two men of classic literature, Dracula and Mr. Rochester, and the two women who survived them, Bertha and Lucy, who are now undead immortals residing in Los Angeles in 1967 when Dracula and Rochester make a shocking return in the Haight-Ashbury district of San Francisco.

Combining elements of historical and gothic fiction with a modern perspective, in a tale of love and betrayal and coercion, Reluctant Immortals is the lyrical and harrowing journey of two women from classic literature as they bravely claim their own destiny in a man’s world.

My 2 Cents for Free!

This was fun on audio. Set in the late 60's (70's? I didn't take notes and am relying on my brain but it had very flower-childy and Manson culty vibes), it's a story about two forgotten women made immortal by two dickish men (Dracula & Mr. Rochester). Bee (Bertha) & Lucy spend their days overseeing Dracula's urns filled with his ashes, so his domineering self doesn't reappear to boss them around. Their evenings are spent at a drive-in. Doesn't sound too bad of a life to me! But then Jane Eyre shows up and the bossy men appear and their quiet life goes sideways.

Adventure and some mayhem follow as Lucy tries to reign in her undying hunger while just doing her best to stay in charge of her own life. This book may infuriate you (ugh, most of these MEN, please walk into the sun already) but it pays off in the end. My only complaint? I finished the book wondering what Mr. Rochester did to Bee to make her immortal. I'm still here feeling a little confused by it. Maybe I missed something (entirely possible because it's been a stressful week). Was it some sort of fungus? Some Lovecraftian thing? A devil's bargain? I'm a little confused but maybe someone can piece it all together better than me. PLEASE tell me if you know!



  1. I hate it when characters infuriate me to the point of not liking them. Wanting them to walk into the sunlight and burst into flames made me laugh though.


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