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.
I don’t possess the words to adequately describe this book and how it made me feel. Schwab states that over the nearly ten years she worked on it, she put her heart and soul, teeth and blood and bones into this one. And it shows. It’s a magnificent work of art.
Imagine if you were forgotten by everyone you meet. In your presence, they know and recognize you, but the second they leave the room or wake up beside you, you’re a stranger. Because of this, you can’t hold a job – no employer would know who you were. With no way to earn money, you have no home. No closet full of clothes, no belongings, no friends. No loved ones who remember you. It’s an incredibly lonely life, but over the three hundred year span of this story, Addie really lives and experiences all the world has to offer – beauty, pain, love, hate, heartbreak, suffering – everything you can imagine.
It’s difficult to review this without spoilers, but trust me when I say this book offers a profound and thought-provoking examination of life and what it means to live. A blend of survival story, love story, historical fiction, and magical realism, you’ll experience a wide spectrum of emotions. I actually teared up at one point, and trust me – that’s quite a feat.
With beautiful writing, quotes you’ll make a note of, and extraordinary character development, I can’t recommend this book enough. If I could give it more than five stars, I absolutely would. It will linger in your mind long after finishing the last page.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.