The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue
October 2020 Indie Next List
— Lindsey Pattavina, R.J. Julia Booksellers, Madison, CT
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NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
USA TODAY BESTSELLER
NATIONAL INDIE BESTSELLER
THE WASHINGTON POST BESTSELLER
Recommended by Entertainment Weekly, Real Simple, NPR, Slate, and Oprah Magazine
#1 Library Reads Pick—October 2020
#1 Indie Next Pick—October 2020
BOOK OF THE YEAR (2020) FINALIST—Book of The Month Club
A “Best Of” Book From: Oprah Mag * CNN * Amazon * Amazon Editors * NPR * Goodreads * Bustle * PopSugar * BuzzFeed * Barnes & Noble * Kirkus Reviews * Lambda Literary * Nerdette * The Nerd Daily * Polygon * Library Reads * io9 * Smart Bitches Trashy Books * LiteraryHub * Medium * BookBub * The Mary Sue * Chicago Tribune * NY Daily News * SyFy Wire * Powells.com * Bookish * Book Riot * Library Reads Voter Favorite *
In the vein of The Time Traveler’s Wife and Life After Life, The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue is New York Times bestselling author V. E. Schwab’s genre-defying tour de force.
A Life No One Will Remember. A Story You Will Never Forget.
France, 1714: 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 dazzling 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.
Also by V. E. Schwab
Shades of Magic
A Darker Shade of Magic
A Gathering of Shadows
A Conjuring of Light
Praise For The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue…
Praise for The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue:
“For someone damned to be forgettable, Addie LaRue is a most delightfully unforgettable character, and her story is the most joyous evocation of unlikely immortality.”
— Neil Gaiman, author of American Gods and winner of multiple Nebula, Hugo, and Locus Awards
"Completely absorbed me enough to make me forget the real world." — Jodi Picoult, Washington Post
“Victoria Schwab sends you whirling through a dizzying kaleidoscopic adventure through centuries filled with love, loss, art and war — all the while dazzling your senses with hundreds of tiny magical moments along the way. The Invisible Life of Addie Larue will enchant readers as deeply as its heroine’s Faustian bargain; you will find yourself in quick turns both aching with heartbreak, and gleefully crowing at the truly delicious, wicked cleverness in store.”
— Naomi Novik, Nebula and Locus Award-winning author of Spinning Silver
“Addie Larue is a book perfectly suspended between darkness and light, myth and reality. [This novel] is—ironically—unforgettable.” — Hugo Award winner Alix E. Harrow, author of The Ten Thousand Doors of January
“The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue is the kind of book you encounter only once in a lifetime. . . . A defiant, joyous rebellion against time, fate, and even death itself—and a powerful reminder that the only magic great enough to conquer all of it is love.”— Peng Shepherd, author of The Book of M
“Sweeping in its scope yet wonderfully intimate, it's dark and sexy yet romantic and heartbreaking.” —Rebecca Roanhorse, Hugo and Nebula Award-winning author of Black Sun
“Rich and satisfying.” –Kirkus Reviews, Starred Review
“A knockout.” –Publishers Weekly, Starred Review
“Epic.” –Library Journal, Starred Review
“Deeply romantic, impossibly detailed.” –Booklist, Starred Review
“A delightful surprise and a balm in difficult times..” –BookPage, Starred Review
“Schwab’s page-turner is an achingly poignant romantic fantasy about the desperate desire to make one’s mark on the world.” —Oprah.com, Best LGBTQ Books of 2020
“A beautiful, meditative novel with an ending that hit me right in the heart.” —Buzzfeed, Best Fall Fantasy 2020
"It's a bit cheeky to call The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue Faust for romantic bisexual goths, but it's not wrong... I for one will most certainly remember her."—NPR
“Addie is unlike anything Schwab has written before—epic yet intimate, sweeping but not sprawling... If Addie shows anything, it’s that the impact of our actions and interactions can be vaster and longer-lasting than we can predict. Much like the seven freckles that sprinkle Addie’s face, we create our own constellations, and as we live through these darkened days, I feel brighter for having added Addie to mine.”—Slate
“Schwab beautifully explores what it means to be alone for so long that it's jarring and terrifying once you are finally seen...Addie is an independent and fascinating character who manages to make her mark in spite of the odds.”—USA Today
“Schwab’s writing is warm and intense, and the passages set in the past often make you feel as if you’re reading by candlelight...The book is an elegant comment on the erasure of women from recorded history, but not a pointed one; you never feel that Addie LaRue is a metaphor. She is a woman fighting literally to be seen while bearing witness to her own life, and I rooted for her throughout.”—New York Times Book Review
“One of the most propulsive, compulsive and captivating novels in recent memory.”—Washington Post
“There is no particular art to literary fiction that doesn’t exist in fiction of other genres, and V. E. Schwab’s new book The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue isn’t just an amazing book for its genre; it’s an amazing book, full stop...a gorgeous, immersive story...Schwab is an inclusive, ambitious, and exacting writer, and she doesn’t let either her characters or her readers off the hook...This book doesn’t blend genres, or even transcend genre.”—Chicago Review of Books
"This evocative and clever tale will leave you smiling, filled with love and longing for more magical moments in everyday life."—CNN, Best Books of October
"Expansive and utterly heart-wrenching...both heartbreaking and hopeful. I read the last hundred pages well into the night, gasping and sobbing. It’s a beautiful read."—Book Riot, 25 Must Read New Fantasy Books
“A remarkable, genre-defying epic of a woman fighting to thrive in a world that denies her existence....stunning.”—Shelf Awareness for Readers
"When I first finished Addie LaRue, I sat back with a deep sense of wonder. Schwab’s words had weaved their spell and left me starstruck... eloquent and beautiful...Addie LaRue sparks something internally as you read and what is the point of reading, if not to feel?"—The Nerd Daily
“[An] enthralling romantic adventure.”—Business Insider
"A career triumph...Her propulsive, lyric prose is here, her morally complex, entrancing characters, her unique shape of magic, all wrought within this entirely fresh premise that will no doubt become a long-lasting favorite...Addie defies genre, blending romance and history, fantasy and monstrosity, cresting through peaks of time, centered on a young (and also, technically very old) woman with both less and more agency than anyone alive...romantic, ambitious, and defiantly, deliberately hopeful. Epic and intimate at once, it asks what art is...Schwab is simply one of the most skilled writers working in her genre...The feat of this book is frankly awe-inspiring.”—Tor.com
“[Schwab] flexes her beautiful prose and sets the stage for an unforgettable tale.”—SyFy Wire
"Poetic and heartrending, The Invisible Life of Addie Larue is perfect for fans of time travel stories, historical fiction, and fantasy alike." —The Register-Herald
"This spellbinding story is destined to be a classic." —Greatist
"A beautiful tale of star-crossed love, magic, and a dark Faustian Bargain makes The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue the perfect book for the fantasy lover in your life!" —The Mary Sue
"A gender flip version of Faust, and also a haunting love story that will linger." —New York Journal of Books
"A masterpiece that has been so many years in the making, but the wait was truly worth every page...a book that will stay with you long after you finish reading the last word." —Seventeen Magazine
"Irresistibly contagious." — Locus Magazine
“One of the most haunting and bittersweetly beautiful novels I have ever read...a mature, introspective love story, and a thoughtful examination of what it means to have a life well lived.” —Manhattan Mercury News (Kansas)
"Schwab's brilliant epic novel blends fantasy and history, romance and art, as it moves back and forth through time. Addie, one of the author's most morally complex and riveting creations, embarks on adventures both grand and lowly, as she travels, ghostlike, through the centuries." —Bookmarks Magazine
“I was caught in the emotion, the demanded pound of flesh as I considered my own attachments and inherent sense of self, my notions of love and ache and need.” —Historical Novel Society
Tor Books, 9780765387561, 448pp.
Publication Date: October 6, 2020
About the Author
Conversation Starters from ReadingGroupChoices.com
1. What are the best and worst things about Addie’s invisible life? What is the emotional toll of being unable to imprint herself on the heart and mind of another person? When does it give her an advantage?
2. Discuss the intense power struggle between Addie and Luc. What makes him such a master of seduction? How does Addie reclaim her power and agency over the course of the centuries?
3. Addie slips into the homes (and even the clothes) of people from all walks of life. Which abode did you like the best? If Addie borrowed your house, what would she enjoy the most about the contents of your cupboards and your closets?
4. As we meet Addie’s many lovers, Remy stands out as the first man who lived up to her girlhood fantasies. On the magical night they met, Addie was dressed in a pair of trousers, a buttoned coat, and a tricorne hat. How did her disguise (as “Thomas”) stoke their passion?
5. Living without a bank account or a phone or an address, Addie is reduced to pilfering and theft to quell her physical suffering. Is it a blessing or a curse that she only has to worry about momentary suffering, not survival? What new appreciation do you have for the ordinary things you count on to make it through di fficult times?
6. In Part Three, Chapter II, the author writes, “The time between Thursday night and Saturday afternoon is merciless, every second doled out with the care of an old woman counting pennies to pay for bread. Not once does it seem to quicken, not once does she lose track of it. She can’t seem to spend it, or waste it, or even misplace it.” How does the possibility of an infinite lifespan change the way Addie sees life itself ?
7. Addie’s situation is transformed when she steps into The Last Word for the first time. Discuss the role of the written word in her life. What does her taste in books say about her? What does it mean for her to be deprived of a lasting version of her own life story?
8. Belief plays such a central role in the narrative, specifically in the shaping of foundational identities, from the LaRue family’s rigid Christianity to Estele and her faith in the old gods, to Addie, whose belief in a fantasy shapes the physical representation of Luc, and Henry, whose loss of belief leaves him feeling lost. How does Estele’s immersion in the spirit world compare to Henry’s studious theology? Do you believe in the existence of gods that answer after dark?
9. How do Addie’s and Henry’s deals with Luc complete each other (the freedom of eternal youth paired with perpetual impermanence; constant acceptance paired with the obliteration of the true self )? If you could receive one of their “curses” for just twenty-four hours, which would you choose? Have you ever been pushed so far to the brink that you might have made a deal with Luc?
10. As the chapters unfold from the seventeenth century to modern times, and as the novel oscillates between rural life and spectacular cities, what timeless, universal aspects of human nature emerge? From warfare to popular culture, revolution to liberation, how much progress does Addie witness? To what degree does she also watch history repeat itself ?
11. As the intention behind Bea’s project was revealed, what did you discover about the power of art to preserve hidden truths? In what way is Addie’s identity written in the stars?
12. How did you react to the novel’s ending? What had you been predicting for Addie?
Guide written by Amy Root Clements