Nothing quite feeds the soul like a good Faustian bargain tale.
I know I'm very late getting to read 'The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue' by V.E. Schwab, but last year was a wild ride and though it remained top of the 'things I want to do' list.. it just didn't happen.
Nonetheless, I'm glad I kept working toward having time for this read.
You know.. it's funny, as a rule.. I'm not a fan of 'historical fiction,' but Schwab doesn't rely on the language of old to set the time period. She creates that through vivid imagery of the world around Addie.. both the visuals of those small towns and big cities.. and the textures of life within them.
Deep down, I think Addie speaks to most of us. Whether we want to admit it or not, we know that path is short.. and often by circumstance, it's more limited in where it might take us than we would want it to be. I understand making hard decisions that lead to deeper struggle in order to step off those given paths and start creating one of your own. I understand the desire for legacy and all the ways one can mean that.
Throughout this story, Schwab does a beautiful job of dancing between eras. Shifting the narrative timeline effortlessly, she never loses the reader's interest or leaves you in a position where you need to go back and re-read to understand something. She leads you expertly along, developing every inch of her literary space. From Addie, to Luc and Henry, to Henry's friends and beyond.. the relationships are like the surface of a lake.. rippling ever outward from the core of her tale. All connected, all consistent, all consuming.
This was my first V.E. Schwab read, but it most certainly will not be my last. While the book felt dense, every few pages leaving me kind of exhausted.. it wasn't because it was slow. The pacing was perfect actually. There was simply so much emotional content to process, that it really took me to the mat.. so to speak.
I'm not sure I fell for the character that I was supposed to, but maybe I'm not alone out here. Addie was lovely in the way she constantly strived for more.. in the way she refused to back down.. and fought for what she wanted. Henry.. oh Henry was indeed a bit of a heartbreaker.. and those of you who have read the story know why. But Luc.. I am most sad and weary over Luc.. is that wrong?
Anyway, this beautiful book was worth every moment. It makes me glad I invested in.. oh I don't know.. probably 8-10 copies or so? Gallant.. here I come.