No wonder this is a bestseller! What V.E. Schwab offers in THE INVISIBLE LIFE OF ADDIE LARUE is an imaginative new take on the famous Faust legend, interesting, multidimensional characters, and thought provoking situations — mixed with some random historical events over 300 years of history. The result? I wanted this read to NEVER end. Awarded five stars on Goodreads.
In 1715, in a small rural village in France, Addie Larue is desperate. Female and still single at age 23, her parents have arranged a marriage for her to a widower she doesn’t know, condemning her to a life in the same town where she grew up, every inch of which she already knows. Intelligent, eager for adventure, and excited by the possibilities of what lies beyond — Addie will do anything to escape her fate.
Enter The Devil. And they quickly strike a bargain. Escape from a marriage, a chance to see the world without messy human attachments — but at SUCH a cost. Because in her eagerness to escape, Addie is not quite careful enough in choosing her words. And the crafty Devil is an expert at this game.
And so begins 300 years, with the novel moving back and forth in time, as Addie recounts her efforts to experience all that life has to offer. And like any life, some parts are good, some not. She has the privilege of serving as muse to a series of artists, but also faces disturbing challenges. Above all, what she yearns is to sample love. Until, finally, at a small bookstore, she meets Henry.
I think my favorite aspect of the book was the developing relationship between Addie and the Devil, who occasionally banter with each other over the years, each one influencing the other. And as Addie matures, through her experiences, she becomes more than a match for him. I don’t want to say more because there are so many wonderful surprises in store for you. I wouldn’t want to spoil a single one.
This is a smart novel. Well-written. The type you don’t want to put down. That is, until you approach the end and find yourself dreading that the book will soon be over. You’ll have no idea how it could possibly resolve in a satisfactory way. But yet, it does. It’s simply one of the most inventive and engaging books I’ve read in a very long time.
More about the author, V.E. Schwab