“She wonders if you can distill a person’s life, let alone human civilization, to a list of things, wonders if that’s a valid way to measure worth at all, not by the lives touched, but the things left behind.”

Credit: Jenna Maurice

All Addie Larue wants is to be remembered, but before that, all she wanted was freedom and time. Addie was born in Villon, France in the 17th century, and back then being confined to her small town was the worst way she could imagine living her life. On a night filled with desperation, Addie makes a deal with someone she should have never talked to and asks for two things—for freedom and more time. But everything comes with a price, and so she ends up with all the time in the world in exchange for her soul and being forgotten by everyone she meets.

The author intertwines chapters from the present and Addie’s life in the course of 300 years. In the present, she lives like a ghost, doing whatever she wants with no one to intervene, and in the past, she tries to understand what happened to her and the only person she can talk to is the one she made the deal with, which is both a gift and a curse on its own. After many years and many fleeting homes, Addie has ended up in New York City. There, she spends her days visiting people she has formed a connection with that can’t remember her. Every encounter is like a first meeting, even when she knows everything about them. Until one day she meets Henry, who remembers her a day after meeting her for the first time. 

As the story unfolds, Addie finds happiness with Henry, but life can’t always be that easy. There’s a reason why Henry finds Addie as captivating as she does him, a reason why he can remember her. And now that Addie has found someone who can break all of the rules that she made years ago, that mysterious someone who she promised her life to will not be happy.

The Invisible Life of Addie Larue is a book that will evoke a lot of feelings from the reader. Schwab’s writing makes you feel like you are right there with Addie and her style is similar to reading a never-ending poem. The chapters moving from past to present were also very entertaining, kind of like reading two different stories at the same time. Lastly, the book was separated into different parts and when each began there was a picture of a work of art and information about it. Each of these related to Addie in some way and the reader found out how while reading the chapters in that section. It was a nice detail to add.