A dazzling and magical adventure that plays across centuries and continents, The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue tells the story of a young woman determined to leave an indelible mark on the world. In 1714, in a moment of despair, Adeline made a Faustian bargain — to live forever as a memory-stealer. Cursed to be forgotten by everyone she encounters, Addie’s extraordinary life will play out across centuries and continents through art and history — from a Venetian canal to the peak of Montmartre, from Paris to London, from 19th century Venice to modern-day NYC via Shakespearean sonnets.
In a moment of desperation, a young woman makes a Faustian bargain to live forever and is cursed to be forgotten by everyone she meets. Thus begins the extraordinary life of Addie LaRue and a breathtaking adventure that will play out across centuries and continents, history and art.
A startling novel about the many lives of a brilliant, unforgettable woman: beautiful and wise, Addie LaRue knows that beauty is power, and she wields it with great skill. But her beauty will quickly fade, and she’s desperate to remain young and beautiful forever.
About The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue Book
France, 1714: In desperation, a young woman makes a Faustian bargain to live forever and is cursed to be forgotten by everyone she meets.
Thus begins the extraordinary life of Addie LaRue and a breathtaking adventure that will play out across centuries and continents, across history and art, as a young woman learns how far she will go to leave her mark on the world.
But everything changes when, after nearly 300 years, Addie stumbles across a young man in a hidden bookstore, and he remembers her name.
The prose is slightly more poetic than Schwab’s usual style, but I think it worked. I also really got on board emotionally with the premise of this book. In exchange for immortality, Addie is doomed to be forgotten by everyone she meets, unable to leave a mark. As soon as she’s out of sight, she’s out of mind, never to be remembered. Her family forgets her. She becomes a stranger to everyone she loves. As you can imagine, it is a most painful, lonely existence.
It is that big chunk of the book between approximate pages 150 and 350 where this story lost me. As soon as the love interest arrived on the scene and the whirlwind romance started, I lost my emotional attachment to the story. Several things about this part irked me. The way the purple prose bled over into dialogue (which I never liked), the way I instantly guessed the truth about Henry, and, my god, how we had to be reminded of his “black curls” every time he appeared on the page.
We also get a lot of backstory about Henry, and I have mixed feelings about it. On the one hand, I appreciated the discussions about depression and anxiety and honestly related to what the author describes here. Still, I also found Henry just quite dull in general. I wasn’t interested in his relationships with his friends and family, so the chapters we spent with him dragged for me.