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The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue
by V. E. Schwab

Published: 2020-10-06
Hardcover : 464 pages
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276 clubs reading this now
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Recommended to book clubs by 8 of 9 members

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

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 ...

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

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.

In the vein of The Time Traveler’s Wife and Life After Life, The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue is New York Times bestselling author V. E. Schwab’s genre-defying tour de force.

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Discussion Questions

1. What are the best and worst things about Addie’s invisible life? What is the
emotional toll of being unable to imprint herself on the heart and mind of another
person? When does it give her an advantage?

2. Discuss the intense power struggle between Addie and Luc. What makes him such a
master of seduction? How does Addie reclaim her power and agency over the course
of the centuries?

3. Addie slips into the homes (and even the clothes) of people from all walks of life.
Which abode did you like the best? If Addie borrowed your house, what would she
enjoy the most about the contents of your cupboards and your closets?

4. As we meet Addie’s many lovers, Remy stands out as the first man who lived up to
her girlhood fantasies. On the magical night they met, Addie was dressed in a pair of
trousers, a buttoned coat, and a tricorne hat. How did her disguise (as “Thomas”)
stoke their passion?

5. Living without a bank account or a phone or an address, Addie is reduced to
pilfering and theft to quell her physical suffering. Is it a blessing or a curse that she
only has to worry about momentary suffering, not survival? What new appreciation
do you have for the ordinary things you count on to make it through di? cult times?
6. In Part Three, Chapter II, the author writes, “The time between Thursday night and
Saturday afternoon is merciless, every second doled out with the care of an old
woman counting pennies to pay for bread. Not once does it seem to quicken, not
once does she lose track of it. She can’t seem to spend it, or waste it, or even misplace
it.” How does the possibility of an infinite lifespan change the way Addie sees life

7. Addie’s situation is transformed when she steps into The Last Word for the first
time. Discuss the role of the written word in her life. What does her taste in books
say about her? What does it mean for her to be deprived of a lasting version of her
own life story?

8. Belief plays such a central role in the narrative, specifically in the shaping of
foundational identities, from the LaRue family’s rigid Christianity to Estele and her
faith in the old gods, to Addie, whose belief in a fantasy shapes the physical
representation of Luc, and Henry, whose loss of belief leaves him feeling lost. How
does Estele’s immersion in the spirit world compare to Henry’s studious theology?
Do you believe in the existence of gods that answer after dark?

9. How do Addie’s and Henry’s deals with Luc complete each other (the freedom of
eternal youth paired with perpetual impermanence; constant acceptance paired with
the obliteration of the true self )? If you could receive one of their “curses” for just
twenty-four hours, which would you choose? Have you ever been pushed so far to
the brink that you might have made a deal with Luc?

10. As the chapters unfold from the seventeenth century to modern times, and as the
novel oscillates between rural life and spectacular cities, what timeless, universal
aspects of human nature emerge? From warfare to popular culture, revolution to
liberation, how much progress does Addie witness? To what degree does she also
watch history repeat itself?

11. As the intention behind Bea’s project was revealed, what did you discover about the
power of art to preserve hidden truths? In what way is Addie’s identity written in the

12. How did you react to the novel’s ending? What had you been predicting for Addie?

Notes From the Author to the Bookclub

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