TITLE: The Midnight Library
AUTHOR: Matt Haig
Nora Seed does not see any hope in her life. She doesn’t look forward to anything. Moreover, she has a cloud of regrets over her head at all times. So, one day, she decides to end her life at midnight.
Instead of dying, she reaches a place called the midnight library (a place between life and death) containing infinite books about Nora’s parallel lives starting exactly from midnight.
Nora gets an opportunity to live her ‘could be’ lives and see for herself which life suits her the best. She, with the help of her book of regrets starts picking out lives. She will come back to the library if she feels disappointed in the chosen life. But there was a catch- once she comes back, she cannot choose that life again. So, she starts hopping from one life to another to live different versions of herself, to see how changing one decision changes the entire course of her life.
This is a book about realizations; the answer to ‘what ifs’. Even though the plot is predictable, it is the story which keeps us bound to the character- her struggles, her insecurities, her strength in unexpected places.
I think we all wonder sometimes, what if we hadn’t chose what we did and if we could only go back. Nora Seed gets this chance when she is at her lowest. But which life does she choose? Or does she choose death over life?
Matt Haig answers these questions beautifully and uses analogies to explain life to a woman who feels worthless, like the comparison between chess and life. How before beginning the game, everything is in order but it is boring and dead and how once the game begins, the board becomes chaotic but adventurous. And it presents to us endless possibilities to make our moves.
Sometimes the chapters and conversations seem repetitive but it is probably there to put emphasis on the message the author is trying to send out. But overall, I would say, the concept is quite unique and simple to understand and the focus is more on the character which makes this a more relatable and enjoyable read.