The book follows Nora Seed, a woman in her mid-thirties- for whom life wasn’t worth living anymore. She finds herself suspended in between life and death at the midnight library. The premise of this library is that there are infinite books, each narrating one possible future Nora might have had in some universe. Nora explores potential lives she could have had. Some lives cementing her decision to not die, while others made her apathetic to living, and even some lives that she desperately wanted to be a part of. Ultimately, she realizes that none of the lives is without some pain and sense of loss-no version of her life is 100% perfect. And she’d rather make the most of the life she was given than remain in limbo between lives that aren’t truly her own.
The book discusses huge existentialist notions- like what makes life worth living or what are we here to do- in simple language, which sometimes comes across as corny. Matt Haig writes carefully of the mental struggles and train-of-thoughts that Nora continually has. I enjoyed the book, yet I think it was over-hyped by the reviews and ratings. I gravitated towards it because it was a book about books (in a library!).
🕵 How I Discovered It
It was a Goodreads Choice 2020 winner.
✍️ My Favorite Quotes
“Want, is an interesting word, it means lack. Sometimes if we fill the lack with something else, the original want disappears”
“You see, doing one thing differently, is very often the same as doing everything differently”
“To be human was to continuously dumb the world down into an understandable story that keeps things simple”
“The prison wasn’t the place it was the perspective”
“I can never read all the books I want; I can never be all the people I want and live all the lives I want. I can never train myself in all the skills I want. And why do I want? I want to live and feel all the shades, tones and variations of mental and physical experience possible in my life.” -Sylvia Plath