Talk about a highly quotable book with a universal message of appreciating the life you live. The Midnight Library by Matt Haig is just that. Even though this is a fiction story with elements of magical realism, I felt like the author was diving into my soul and feeding me spoonful after spoonful of existential goodness. The Midnight Library is literally food for the soul and I needed to hear this message. I would recommend this book to any and everyone, especially those in a tough life season.
Nora Seed lives a pretty average, slightly unfulfilling life. One evening, she decides she doesn't want to live anymore. From there, she enters the midnight library, a limbo between life and death where she can open any book to live a life she could have had if she made a different choice along the way. Nora must decide if her life is actually worth living in the first place.
I loved the concept of this book. The Midnight Library is a limbo between life and death where you have a chance to face all your life regrets and choose different paths to see where your life could have gone. I have often wondered to myself what my life would be like if I had made this decision, instead of that. Who hasn't had these thoughts and wondered "what if"? What this limbo world does is show you that no matter what decision you would have made, life is life, it has its ups and downs, and it's a matter of what you appreciate and find gratitude in that makes life worth living.
I loved the message of this book. This is my second Matt Haig book and the first fiction novel I have read by him. Notes on a Nervous Planet is an absolute genius book about technology and social media addiction in our world and I actually saw inklings of it in The Midnight Library. Though they are vastly different, including completely different genres, they carry the same underlying messages.
I highly recommend everyone pick up a copy of The Midnight Library and read it when you are in tough season of life. This is the epitome of a feel good book with a happy ending and a message that translates to all of us. I guarantee you will be touched by Nora's story. I also think this would be perfection on audio. The above picture basically sums up how I felt reading this book. It's like putting on the most comfy pajamas, curling up under a cozy blanket, and being whisked away to another world. All the #cozyvibes!
"Doing one thing differently is often the same as doing everything differently."
"Sometimes regrets aren't based on fact at all. Sometimes regrets are just a load of bullshit."
"Maybe that's what all lives were, though. Maybe even the most seemingly perfect intense or worthwhile lives ultimately felt the same. Acres of disappointment and monotony and hurts and rivalries but with flashes of wonder and beauty. Maybe that was the only meaning that mattered."
"There are patterns to life...rhythms. It is so easy, while trapped in just one life, to imagine that times of sadness or tragedy or failure or fear are a result of that particular existence. That it is a by-product of living a certain way, rather than simply living."
"Fear was when you wandered into a cellar and worried that the door would close shut. Despair was when the door closed and locked behind you."
Other books by Matt Haig:
Notes on a Nervous Planet (click the title link to read my full review)