AUTHOR – MATT HAIG
PUBLISHED IN – 2020
PAGES – 304
It has been a long while since a book genuinely made me feel happy. This is one such book.
The main protagonist is Nora Seeds. She finds herself out of a job, with no one around her to love her and even her cat dies. So she kills herself. Or atleast, tries to. The moment she does that, she finds herself in a library where the time has frozen at midnight. There she finds a librarian, whom her brain manifests as her old school librarian, Mrs Elm. She tells her that Nora is in between life and death. That’s what the midnight library is. The library contains infinite number of books which tell the story of Nora in another alternate universe if she had done anything differently. So Nora proceeds to go through these books and checks whether there was any alternate life where she won’t have decided to end it. The first book that she visits is the universe where she hadn’t cancelled her wedding and was living a married life with Dan, her long time boyfriend. She finds herself unhappy there as well. Another universe where she hadn’t quit swimming and went on to become an Olympic swimmer. She isn’t happy there. Another universe where she was a popular rockstar. Again, she isn’t happy there. Similarly she keeps visiting hundreds of her alternate universes. Finally she finds a reality where she doesn’t want to die. And that’s when her desire to live again ignites and the library fades away. And she’s back alive.
There are a lot of things that’s worth mentioning like her relationship with her parents, brother and her best friend. Those were the reasons why she wasn’t happy in majority of the universes. She also figures out that her own root life wasn’t exactly a waste and just that she was blind to the good changes that was inflicted on others because of her. It was a goddamn beautiful book.
Alright! I loved a few quotes from the book as well:
A person was like a city.
You can’t exactly love an entire city. Meaning there are parts of a city that you don’t like. Say a dumpster or a slum. Not exactly the most beautiful parts of the city. Similarly, people have their good and bad mixed together.
Amid pure nature, solitude took on a different character. It became in itself a kind of connection. A connection between herself and the world. And between her and herself.
It would have made things a lot easier if we understood there was no way of living that can immunise you against sadness.
Sadness is intrinsically part of the fabric of happiness.
Just in love with this quote.
A pawn is a queen-in-waiting.
Never really thought of chess in that way.
This sounds so cliché but I love clichés.