Saturday, 26 September 2020

The Midnight Library by Matt Haig Book Review!

Hi Readers! How was your September? For me, reading wise, it was awfully pathetic. I just finished reading the THIRD book for the month. I had been seeing a lot of buzz around Matt Haig’s The Midnight Library. Having never read anything of Matt Haig’s before, I started the book with no expectations. I was amazed by the premise of the novel already & so I spent little time thinking if I should or shouldn’t read it & just began reading it. Check out the review!

 

~~INTRODUCTION~~

The Midnight Library is the story of Nora Seed. At a time in her life when her parents have died, her brother refuses to talk to her, her boss fires her, her best friend goes to another continent & her cat dies, she finally decides that it is too much & decides to die. After taking an overdoes of pills, she lands in The Midnight Library where she is between life & death. And what better between life-and-death experience can it be than infinite shelves stacked with infinite books? At this place, she can choose to ‘try on’ different lives of Nora Seed, aka, alternate universes. Now you see why this much was enough for a book geek like me to lure into the story?

Throughout the book, we see Nora try on different lives. From choosing poorly in the initial few lives to choosing something meaningful, we see how Nora grows.

From wanting to die to wanting to live.

From living for others to living for herself.

From pursuing others’ dreams to choosing her own dream.

From thinking only about herself to thinking about all the close ones in her life.

Within a second, she goes through so many universes. Within a second, she changed into an entirely different person.


~~OVERALL THOUGHTS~~

The minute I started reading the book, I knew I’d like it. This happens a lot with me. I can tell within a matter of one page, if it will be among my favourites. For a 325-page book, it sure has a lot to offer.

 

~~NARRATION~~

Starting with the narration of the book. It starts with the number of hours till Nora decides to die. For the first 20 pages it goes on like that. During that time, it sets a great foundation of Nora’s life. After this, it’s all about setting the foundation about The Midnight Library, which for us readers, is absolutely fascinating. In between all these there are some letters or tweets that Nora writes. We also see a song she has written in her musician life. Also, that letter toward the end ‘A Thing I Have Learned’ was so amazing. That is something I will always come back to read. All these different types of narrations connect so well & collectively form exciting content! I loved this little thing about the book quite a lot.


~~IMPORTANT TOPICS~~

Once I got into the book, it was very clear to me how self-aware the author is. From the beginning I knew Nora had depression. We see how her boss fired her for different reasons but didn’t ignore her ‘mental health stuff’ while at it. Even further along the book, we see how much the author has talked about mental health in an indirect manner. He has also talked a great deal about climate change because Nora was a glaciologist in one of her lives. Even if it is subtle, he mentioned about the melting glaciers & the impact of climate change & how serious it is.

There was also a mention about our obsession with social media. I’m guilty in this too, but still his words resonated with me. Lastly, by writing the fact that Nora’s brother Joe was gay, he made the book inclusive of the LGBTQ+ community.

They are not OUT THERE in the book, but all these things ARE THERE. A keen reader’s eye is always quick to notice the important things.


~~LIFE LESSONS~~

As you all know, I am not a fan of non-fiction books. But when there are nonfiction bits in a fiction book, I go nuts! Such is the case with this book. Because the story itself is so powerful, there are a lot of life lessons thrown along the way. Some are obvious. Some even boring. But you just need the one that is custom-made for you. I love how the book is so uplifting even when the protagonist has tried to kill herself. It is also reassuring.

Because no matter what life we are in, there will always be good & bad. Nothing is all good or all bad.

This one is the one that will always stay with me.

 

~~ALTERNATE UNIVERSES~~

Initially, I was perplexed to read how Nora was talented in so many different things. Her passions included being an Olympic Swimmer, being a glaciologist, being a musician in a band, philosophy. At first it felt a bit far-fetched, but when I got to thinking, I realized just how normal that was. I mean, all of us have a variety of interests; some we pursue, other remain forgotten. We might have the potential for all of them, but somehow we only stick to something for reasons we may or may not know. When I got to thinking, I thought how my alternate universes would be. Just for fun, I visualized a life as an author, a successful Badminton player, maybe someone with high level OCD, a solo traveller with a popular YouTube channel, a teacher in a college. Who knows? The possibilities are truly endless.


~~QUOTES~~

  •  Never underestimate the big importance of small things.
  • I never found the companion that was so companionable as solitude.
  • Success isn’t something you measure, and life isn’t a race you can win.
  • ‘You’re overthinking it.’ ‘I have anxiety. I have no other type of thinking available.’

~~CONCLUSION~~

The Midnight Library, in its simplicity has achieved a different level of poignance. It is unbelievably magical & whimsical, but at the same time insightful & thought provoking. I simply enjoyed reading it & this might not be the last time that I read it. According to me, it is a modern-day ‘Tuesdays with Morrie’! You should definitely read it!! I have rated it at 4/5!



Until next time,


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