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The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue



Harper Collins recently asked their Twitter followers to describe the perfect beach read and the answers surprised me. I assumed the suggestions would be for romantic comedies and women’s fiction, and while they were among the suggestions, there were just as many mentions of thrillers, crime stories, tales of friendship and coming-of-age stories. There were as many fantasies and science fiction books as there were contemporary and historical fiction books. 

Readers simply wanted a great story; the genre was secondary. 

And so this month, I ignored genre and picked a book that I thought might be a relaxing and fun read for the beach, the cottage, or anywhere else you go to unwind. 

The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue, by V. E. Schwab, is an incarnation of the crowd-pleasing Faust myth. This storyline never gets old!

It begins in 18th century France, and rather than be forced into marriage (and be a possession), Addie LaRue makes a deal with the devil; she trades her soul for freedom, but of course, there’s a twist. Addie doesn’t belong to anyone, but nor is she remembered by anyone. To her family and friends, she’s a stranger. For 300 years she travels Europe and the United States and although she meets new people, the moment they turn away from her, they forget her. And so she exists until one day, she meets Henry. He does remember her, but why? And when they fall in love, what will the devil have to say about it?

This is a novel that lends itself to a leisurely read. If you prefer action-packed stories, you might find the beginning a bit slow because Addie doesn’t meet Henry until the 25th chapter. If you stick with the book to the end (and I hope you do), you’ll discover why there’s such a long lead in. However, if you’re swinging in a hammock listening to the birch leaves rustling overhead, the beautiful line writing and long vivid descriptions will be right up your alley. 






Audiobook Review



The audiobook is narrated by the incredibly talented Julia Whelan. If you like listening to stories, be sure to give this one a try. Julia narrates many of today’s bestselling stories, so if you like her work, you’re in luck!

Valerie Francis

The Mystery of Mrs. Christie

Well, you’re not going to believe this. Reece Witherspoon and I picked the same book for our February book clubs. Sort of.  Late last year, I came across THE MYSTERY OF MRS. CHRISTIE by Marie Benedict and was fascinated by the premise. Benedict writes historical fiction, much like Philippa Gregory,

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Valerie Francis

A Girl Named Howard

This month, rather than recommend one book to read, I’m recommending the entire body of work of one author because Anne Rice, who passed away December 11, 2021, single-handedly revolutionized the role of vampires in literature.  Yes, vampires.  And the impact she’s had is more significant than you might realize.

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Valerie Francis

The Christmas Bookshop

If you’ve had it up to your eyes with holiday preparations and are looking for a light-hearted story to escape into, The Christmas Bookshop, by Jenny Colgan, might be just the ticket. The title is a bit misleading, in my opinion. Yes, there’s a bookstore. Yes, the plot unfolds in

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