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Why I’m on the fence about the critically-acclaimed INVISIBLE LIFE OF ADDIE LARUE, plus a writing prompt

By Leslie Lindsay

A Life No One Will Remember. A Story You Will Never Forget.


~ALWAYS WITH A BOOK | Leslie Lindsay~

Spotlight: Historical Fiction

I  might be an outlier on this one. It seems everyone either loves ADDIE LARUE, or they could do without. I’m in the ‘without’ category, and I don’t say that to be lightly. Really, I wanted to love this story, it just didn’t strike like I hoped. 

Quick Take:

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.

New York City, 2014: But everything changes when, after nearly 300 years, Addie stumbles across a young man in a hidden bookstore and he remembers her name.

Quick Thoughts:

I was all-in with Addie’s story in the very beginning. Completely enraptured. I felt the earthen floors of her family’s home, the damp stones. I sensed her trepidation with the impending–unwanted–wedding. I wanted to fall right into her aching footsteps. And for awhile, I did. 

And then, something changed. Maybe it was me. I could have been the story, or the overall narrative arc. I may have been turned off by the prose or the ‘skating of teeth’ on lips, or maybe I was reading this at the wrong time, which is a strange brew of reader, writer, weather/season, the busyness of life. 


Maybe I was expecting something else?  THE INVISIBLE LIFE OF ADDIE LARUE has a ring of YA meets fantasy, and that’s fine if that’s what you’re hoping for. For me, I wanted something more along the lines of THE TIME TRAVELER’S WIFE, which I read years ago and loved. I don’t know, maybe if I read that book now, I’d feel differently. I was perhaps expecting something more historical, and while ADDIE LARUE has elements of THE TIME TRAVELER’S WIFE, I was bogged down with the contemporary romantic storyline, the fantastical touches, and yes–the prose, while some lyrical lines surfaced, it was mostly too marshy for me to wade in. 


Addie LaRue strikes a deal with the devil, so to speak. In exchange for  freedom from marrying a man she doesn’t love, she will live forever, but no one will remember her. She’ll go through centuries and countries paving a life that no one will have any recollection of. This begs the question: what is legacy? Is it emotional or tangible? Is it psychological or temporal?

Try this: write your own version of Addie LaRue. Would you choose roughly the same time periods as the author, late 1600s France through ‘present-day’ NYC? Would you set your story in a different time period or place? Would there be some reconciliation in the narrative arc? Would your character meet up with the devil? It this story about destiny or free-will? If you read THE INVISIBLE LIFE OF ADDIE LARUE, do you think it culminated in the ending you were hoping for? Were you surprised? How would you have done it differently?


All photos designed and photographed by Leslie Lindsay. Follow on Instagram for more like this @leslielindsay #alwayswithabook #amreading

1B6B942E-E2D9-4517-9773-73A6A5162188ABOUT YOUR HOST: 

Leslie Lindsay is the creator and host of the award-winning author interview series,Always with a Book.” Since 2013, Leslie, named “one of the most influential book reviewers” by Jane Friedman, ranks in the top 1% of all GoodReads reviewers and has conducted over 700 warm, inquisitive conversations with authors as wide-ranging as Robert Kolker and Mary Kubica to Helen Phillips and Mary Beth Keane, making her website a go-to for book lovers world-wide. Her writing & photography have appeared in various print journals and online. She is the award-winning author of SPEAKING OF APRAXIA: A Parents’ Guide to Childhood Apraxia of Speech. A former psychiatric R.N. at the Mayo Clinic, Leslie’s memoir, MODEL HOME: Motherhood, Madness, & Memory, is currently on submission with Catalyst Literary Management. Leslie resides in the Chicago area with her family.





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