The book follows Nora Seed, a woman in her mid-thirties- for whom life felt like it wasn’t worth living anymore. She finds herself suspended 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. The book follows Nora as she explores potential lives she could have led in alternative realities. Some realities cementing her decision to continue living, while others made her apathetic to living, and others that she desperately wanted to be a part of. Ultimately, she recognizes that none of the realities is without some pain and sense of loss-no version of her life is 100% perfect. As Nora is suspended in limbo between infinite realities she must decide whether she should make the best use of her own reality or choose another.
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. Like so many films and books these days the multiverse is used to examine these philosophical questions. 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.
🕵 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