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The Book on my Nightstand-The Invisible Life of Addie Larue

Addie LaRue may be invisible, but she is memorable!

This bestselling novel by V.E. Schwab intrigued me because it starts with a Faustian deal with the Devil. After all, what apocalyptic novelist doesn’t like a story involving Satan, right? Addie bargains for eternal life to escape a forced marriage and the limitations of her 18th-century life, but her deal comes with a catch: no one she encounters will ever remember her.

The Devil temps Addie every year after they make their deal, offering to end it along with her lonely existence in exchange for her soul, but she refuses. The story jumps back and forth between the past and the present until, in 2014, Addie finally meets Henry Strauss, who can somehow remember her and speak her name. The pair become lovers until the day that Addie realizes that Henry only has 35 days left to live, having negotiated his own deal with Satan. Henry’s deal with the Devil seems to cancel Addie’s contract and allow Henry to remember her. Addie then renegotiates her deal, becoming Satan’s companion for all time in exchange for Henry’s life.

As the story unfolded, I could not help but hear Freddie Mercury’s mournful cries echoing through my head, asking, “Who wants to live forever?” Ironically, while I read this book, an infomercial for the Wounded Warrior Project kept coming on the television with a plea for donations, “The greatest casualty is being forgotten.” Then I remembered what the Grail knight from Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade cautioning Indy, “The Grail cannot cross the great seal. This is the boundary and the price for immortality.”

Yet, Addie’s deal for Henry’s life appears to provide her with something she did not have before. Sacrificing herself for Henry seemed, in a way, to set Addie free.

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