Schwab’s novel, published by Macmillan imprint Tor Books, follows an 18th-century French woman who surrenders her soul to the devil so she’ll be able to live forever. Unfortunately, the deal comes at a horrible cost: For the remainder of her life, she’ll be forgotten instantly by every person she meets.
In a starred review, a critic for Kirkus called the book “rich and satisfying and strange and impeccably crafted” and “a darkly romantic and suspenseful tale by a writer at the top of her game.”
Other critics have largely agreed. Ellen Morton of the Washington Post called the novel “a tour de force,” while a reviewer for Publishers Weekly wrote, “This ambitious and hopeful work is a knockout.”
In an interview with BookPage, Schwab said her novel is “about defiant joy, it’s about a stubborn hope.”
“It’s about being willing to live through hard times because of the promise of good ones,” she said. “I think there’s a huge current of loneliness and fear running through things right now. When I was in a really, really dark place in my life, the smallest things kept me going.”
Michael Schaub is a Texas-based journalist and regular contributor to NPR.