Archive for December, 2020

The Invisible Life of Adie LaRue

Tuesday, December 22nd, 2020

By V. E. Schwab

The Short Take:

Make a deal with a devil and you’re sure to be sorry. Ask for more time and freedom to live as you wish, and you might live forever but no one will remember you. That’s Addie’s predicament and it makes for a fascinating read.


On the surface not being remembered doesn’t sound so bad. But think again. Imagine a kindly woman invites you into her house for a cup of tea. She turns away to pour a cup and when she turns back screams to see a complete stranger in her house. Or you spend the night with a man and when he awakens he is either shocked out of his mind or tries to act like he remembers you. Not being remembered can be a big problem. And so Addie discovers as the years grow into decades and then centuries.

It’s an interesting spin on the challenges of a lifetime that stretches on forever and the author does a good job of painting a daunting picture of the problem inherent in every-day survival. But her heroine is resilient and exceedingly stubborn.

Of course things don’t go on this way forever. One day someone does remember her. That’s when things get really interesting.

A Little Plot:

Addie wants to escape her little village and the marriage that’s being forced on her. In desperation, she prays to the old gods and one of them answers, offering her time and freedom in exchange for her soul. She jumps at the offer, not thinking about what interpretation her “liberator” may make of her request.

For more about Schwab and her books (her others are aimed at young adult and middle age audiences, this one is absolutely not) click here.

The End of the Day

Wednesday, December 16th, 2020

By Bill Clegg

The Short Take:

This novel of friendships gone awry and family secrets is interesting. It would be more interesting if those secrets weren’t so easy for me to figure out.


Told from various points of view, the overriding themes of this well-written novel are “don’t tell me what I don’t want to know” and “I’m just going to ignore that.” Which make for good story-telling but not necessarily a good life.

The plot revolves around three families: the very rich Goss, their servants, the Lopez, and the middle class Howland. Some relationships between members of these groups are intense. Others are fleeting, but life-changing. Misunderstandings, willful ignorance, and bad assumptions underly everything.

It’s not exactly uplifting material, but Clegg manages to help the reader actually feel relieved when hurtful secrets are relieved, even if his characters aren’t.

A Little Plot:

Dana decides to finally reveal something to a once-dear friend, Jackie, who shut her out 40 years ago. Meanwhile, half-way around the world, Lupita studiously continues to avoid any contact with her family. The story of their younger days holds the secrets that still haunt them.

For more about Bill Clegg and his writings, click here.


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December 2020