Conversation about the book: “The Hidden Life of Addie LaRue”

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By Dan de Neve

A tale told countless times, but dealing with the devil this time doesn’t end quite the way you might think. The hidden life of Addie LaRue by VE Schwab.

In France in 1774, Adeline, trying to escape from an arranged marriage and leave her hometown, made a deal with a man who looked like a person drawn by Adeline. In exchange for her freedom, Locke makes her completely forgotten.

People who meet Adeline completely forget minutes later if they leave her company or lose eye contact with her. Compounding this problem, is that nothing is trying to stay with it. Either you lose it or it gets stolen.

She also cannot be killed, nor can she kill anyone directly. When injured, Adeline recovers almost instantly. At first, all of this makes surviving a challenge. However, Locke, with whom the deal is made, says that he can get rid of all difficulties if she abandons her soul.

Unfortunately for Luke, this only reinforces Adeline’s determination to carry on and find a way to remember her.

The story, which is fast paced, spans more than 300 years and exchanges brief chapters between past and present. As the years turn into centuries, Locke taunts Addie, the name she later goes by, by telling her he expects her to be so much more and do so much more than just try to see the world or survive, considering he’s given it to her complete freedom.

In the end, Adi runs into someone else who remembers her, but who has a secret.

While the story of dealing with the devil isn’t new, I thought this one was fun. If the book suffered, it was from not including Addy in more historical events.

One of my favorite scenes is where Luke takes Addy to Beethoven last night. There, Locke makes his claim over Beethoven’s soul, with his time running out. The great composer argues, but in vain as he is surrounded by darkness.

Another scene of him performing in a Nazi prison as a prisoner of war. Luke helps her escape. The writers could have used more scenes like this. Instead, the author builds a love story, creating a unique twist during the last third of the book, and especially in the conclusion.

I enjoyed the book and would recommend it to those who love magic, history and romance.

The hidden life of Addie LaRue It was August’s selection for the Seaside Book Collection at the Dana Point Library. The Writers’ Group meets on the fourth Monday of every month at 10:30 a.m. at the Dana Point Library.

Copies of the current check are available at the exit office. For more information, please contact the library at 949.496.5517.

Dan Deneve is a longtime employee of the Orange County Public Library. He currently works at the Dana Point Library as a librarian for Adult Services. He is an avid reader of history, biographies and sports.

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