This is my second time having read this book, and going through it again, I'm surprised by the simplicity and likewise Tolkien-emotive feeling to its words and tale. It is a very short book, and yet one written with the knowledge of what it wanted to convey clear in mind. It's a book that doesn't shy away from showing you the beauty of the world, but also showing you the immensity of the decisions and motives of those who reside within it. For something written on so few pages, in a sometimes flourishing, sometimes plain style, it carries a world more of thought upon its pages than you'd first expect.
There are a lot of things about this that are not quite magical. You would think that a story about living forever would be magical, but it's not. Perhaps if it was set in a different time period, everything would have been portrayed and handled differently. But it's the setting as well as the characters that is alive in this book. Yet instead of creating a story of fanciful ideas, it brings a lot of cold, hard, frightening realities to life, so that you can feel their immensity clenching in your stomach as you recognize the dangers and sorrows as well as the possibilities.
I think that's what makes this story one that everyone should read and have in their collection. It's a book that you can have read a couple of times, and know the general storyline of without needing to dwell on anything else. It's a very simple plot; not a lot of twists and turns at all. It has probably one storyline, and that's all that it follows. And that's why, going into this book, being able to recall everything that happened more or less, I didn't remember why I had thought it so wonderful in the first place.
It took one read-through again to remind me.
It's not the story or the plot that makes this book so worthwhile: It's the way it asks the questions that there are no easy answers to, and how it presents the decisions of those involved. There is no right or wrong in the last choice this book shows. It's something that everyone, if they were to be put in the main character's shoes, would have to decide for themselves: "Do I live forever? Or do I live only however long I was meant to on this Earth?"
Many people will get many different things out of this book, and that's what makes it so powerful and worth your investment. It's a book that will speak to all of us. It's short, affordable, and should be fairly simple to get your hands on. So do so. With a story like this, regardless what age group you fall into, you won't find yourself regretting it.
My recommendation: Buy it. You'll want to own this one.