I loved the opening and the ending. But the author lost me in the middle.
I so wanted to love that hyper hyped book!
Yet even if the prose is beautiful I could not for the love of god, fall into the story and hurt with the main characters. One of the problems was probably the choice to write that story from a third POV. That always makes it difficult for me to connect with the character’s feelings. It’s similar to keeping me at arm’s length.
The opening was interesting and compelling. Adeline didn’t want to fall under a man’s rule in the France of 18th century and she’ll make a pact with the darkness/devil. Who could blame her for wanting to escape her small live and leave the expected path?
She will be free, have immortality but of course there is a caveat in her bargain that she’ll soon realize.
She will never be remembered nor will she leave a mark.
Each time someone closed a door on her, she was forgotten. Addie is cursed and she roams the earth for more than 300 years. Very lonely except for some visits from the Darkness. He is her tormentor yet the one she wants to see as he is remembering her.
One day in the future, she’ll meet Henry, a man who will remember her.
The story switch between past story arc and present.
In the past, we follow different cameos of Addie’s life. If reading about past centuries and events is interesting, it became quite repetitive as all scenarios ended up with Addie being forgotten.
She didn’t seem to grow up much either, staying stubbornly in the same state of mind.
Going back and forth from past to present timeline, with past stories without a progressing story arc but rather repetitive variations of the same scenario became quickly boring.
I am one of those readers who love following one story and watching how it will unfurl to reach its conclusion. Not putting on hold one side of the story then get back later. That just makes me impatient at some point.
Another element that did not work for me where the characters.
I don’t know why, maybe it’s the choice of the omniscient narrator or the third POV but I never cared deeply for Addie’s life.
I could logically understand that her predicament was quite tragic and sad but I didn’t FEEL it in my bones.
I would say that if that book has an outstanding and lush prose, an imaginative premise and story ARC, it simply didn’t work for me nor ever touched me as it should.
Now I am clearly in the minority here as that book is a huge hit among readers so it really is a case of personal taste and certainly not a lack of talent. I’d advise you to make your own opinion.
Have you read that book? What did you think of it?
Thanks for reading.