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The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue

Updated: Mar 2, 2023


This book moved me.

I’ve shared those words before, but this time it’s different.

And maybe I’ve even shared those words before, but there is something intangible inside this story that morphs from light to darkness and back to brilliance again, like the path carved by the erratic constellation of stars on the front cover.

I’ve become accustomed to reading books in a particular genre. And in each of those stories, it’s easy to know or figure out where the story will lead, because it takes place in the “real” world we inhabit as human beings. But consuming this book has reminded me that there’s so much more to life and the world than what we experience with our five senses. Heck, throw in that debatable sixth sense, and the essence of this story still catapults past them all into another realm.

To be honest, I don’t even know how to review this book. I can only offer that I’m happy to know I have it in hardback form, for two reasons. First, I want and need to read it again. And second, I need this book in physical form to prove that there aren’t a million other tiny thoughts and emotions sandwiched between each printed sheet of paper that transcends the norms of storytelling.

There’s believability in the magical nature of Addie LaRue’s world. Her story straddles the realm of being remembered and not being forgotten. At first glance, it might appear those two things are the same, but I think this story helps the reader see how wide a chasm there is between the competing thoughts.

I don’t earmark books, because I hold them as sacred artifacts on my bookshelf. But I must admit, I have been tempted on so many different occasions to banish that personal rule in the name of something bigger, of not forgetting a critically important moment in the story, a piece of wisdom that finds its way through a crack in our human existence and burrows itself into our souls, to our very essence.

I didn’t—by the way—earmark the book, only because I believe the true beauty of this story is how things change with each word, depending upon when and where you read it. It has a way of becoming hauntingly apropos for exactly the spot you are in life right now, no matter where that may be.

“Nothing is all good or all bad. Life is so much messier than that.”

As we weave our way through years, decades, and centuries in the life of the protagonist, this simple yet profound truth reveals itself in mysterious and thought-provoking ways. Not only on the grand scale of historic achievements, but also in the more important minutiae of our daily lives.

“Time always ends a second before you’re ready. Life is the minutes you want minus one.”

It’s a sobering truth that we’ve heard reiterated hundreds of times before, but the groundwork laid throughout this story makes this passage impactful beyond measure when encountering it in black and white on the page.

“And this he decides is what a good-bye should be. Not a period, but an ellipsis, a statement trailing off, until someone is there to pick it up. It is a door left open.”

Most books I’ve ever read take me on a journey, to a destination—known, unknown, or maybe somewhere in between. But this story is different. I feel as though it takes me nowhere and everywhere, all at once. Literally, as a reader I am ferried from one locale to another, back and forth, across time and space. But it’s the metaphoric travels, through the thoughts in my mind, random chaos from one point to the next, leading nowhere but somehow also moving in a direction that allows me to experience something akin to gravity from a distant star. It pulls me toward the unseen and into the realm of that which can only be felt.

The language and poetic nature of Ms. Schwab’s words earns this book a 5-star review in itself, but it’s the fact I could write a book about this book that stands out as the most impressionable aspect of this story.

Beyond the emotional nuances and magical auras painted throughout this story, it’s fitting that the “invisible” pieces of this narrative are what remain with me and give me cause to think deeply about so many parts of our human existence. What it means to love. And how hope has the power to create something bigger and more profound than either our body or mind could ever imagine. It’s only when we become vulnerable in our souls, that we truly understand what it means to live. And perhaps in a way that makes forever possible.


Dave’s Rating: ☕️☕️☕️☕️☕️

 

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