The Midnight Library by Matt Haig
I may be slow sometimes but praise-be, I catch up eventually.
Who knew The Midnight Library was a ginormous best seller? Not me.
This was another random selection but I learnt quickly everyone else has been in a conniption over it and rightly so. It’s one of those fabulous jewels built from great writing and a clever idea.
Between life and death there is a library dedicated to each of us – a place containing all the books telling the subsequent lives born from the consequences of the different decisions we all make.
Kind of exciting, kind of horrifying. Can you even imagine? Hells Bells, I know there’s some books I’d never want to experience if given the chance.
Nora Seed finds herself in the Midnight Library. After taking her own life, she meets a familiar face who talks her through where she is – a library housing the books dedicated to every life that she didn’t choose. Nora’s encouraged to pick her major crossroads and that book is handed to her at which point she is immediately placed smack-bang in the middle of that world, as if she had been living it for years.
It takes a while for her to get the hang of it.
There are millions of books in Nora’s library and she wants to open them all. They chronicle the life she could have lived if she’d made different choices in an ordinary day (like smiling at a stranger) through to the big ticket clangers – what if she had married like everyone told her to? What if she had taken off to Australia with her best friend? What if she had stayed in the band yada yada yada.
You get the drift.
Typically, things aren’t always what she imagined they’d be, how she’s daydreamed they’d be as she finds out sometimes brutally. Some of her choices put her in extreme danger, some open up freedoms and courage Nora coveted in life but which choice is the best one?
The Midnight Library doesn’t last forever and as time and storylines run out, Nora has to choose a path and she has to choose a book. Oh the suspense! And the zinger and question we are all left to ponder – what does a perfect life actually mean after all, especially after you’ve had the chance to test them all out?
Would YOU choose a different book if you had the chance? A little something to contemplate and chew over in your book club for sure….and please let us know if you actually decide to test out a new storyline in your life ! It is a new year after all.
But that is just my two cents worth.