I follow Matt Haig on Twitter and I've heard about the book he wrote, The Midnight Library, over and over again. He is mighty proud of it, that's for sure...and he should be.
The thing is, The Midnight Library was not available in our local bookstores. I searched for it but to no avail. But then I found the book on BookDepository.
There were, let's just say, some complications with the ordering and delivery process, but at the end of the day, I finally got the book in my hands and I was READY to dig in.
The hardback felt so good in my hands. Shipped all the way from the Great 'ole Britain, apparently.
The book is about a woman who suffered from general overall unhappiness with her life and harbored thoughts of suicide. And when she made a drastic decision to end her life, she found herself teetering between life and death.
From then on, we're talking about alternate universes and quantum physics. She was given the chance, while hovering between life and death, to stick her head into her book of regrets and then test-drive some of the alternate lives she never lived.
It answered her questions of "What if I married my fiance instead of running away?", "What if I pursued music?", "What if I became a scientist?", "What if I paid more attention to that cute guy who returned and buried (for me) my dead cat?"
It's an enticing idea, honestly, because who wouldn't want to do that when we're so dissatisfied with the state of our current lives, right?
There's something, however, about how ungrateful Nora was, even right from the start, that was not very relatable. So, maybe that could have something to do with how I was merely reading the book and not really living it with her.
It wasn't the page-turner that I had hoped for it to be.
|The Midnight Library by Matt Haig|
BUT....yes, it's a very big BUT. But it did give me a look into the message the author was trying to convey. That no matter what you do with your life, it starts with a decision and there are no perfect ones.
Even when your life sucks, there's something else that is going to suck (if not worse) as well if you did something else, if you could live another life or take up a missed opportunity.
Matt Haig wrote the book based on his keen observation of mental health issues and his personal experiences and I have to say that some parts of Nora's thought processes did ring a bell. Trying to find external affirmation, love, family, a sense of belonging, and of course, purpose to live.
I enjoyed living the different lives with Nora but I have a bone to pick with the last one where she finally found the one that she really wanted to live in but felt like a fraud.
If that was the case, what was the purpose of Mrs. Elm being there? Oh, why was there a Midnight Library in the first place if she wasn't allowed to live the one life she found to be perfect? Was Mrs. Elm lying right from the start?
I guess I do understand the ending. The book's premise was philosophical, trying to tell us that our lives are worth living regardless of all those mistakes and missed opportunities.
All in all, I would give this book 3 ⭐⭐⭐. Not the best I've read but definitely thought-provoking at times.
Where I bought it: BookDepository
Have a fantastic weekend, folks!