Somewhere out beyond the edge of the universe, there is a library that contains an infinite number of books, each one the story of another reality. One tells the story of your life as it is, along with another book for the other life you could have lived if you had made a different choice at any point in your life. While we all wonder how our lives might have been, what if you had the chance to go to the library and see for yourself? Would any of these other lives truly be better?
In The Midnight Library, Matt Haig’s enchanting novel, Nora Seed finds herself faced with this decision. Faced with the possibility of changing her life for a new one—following a different career, undoing old breakups, realizing her dreams of becoming a glaciologist—she must search within herself as she travels through the Midnight Library to decide what is truly fulfilling in life, and what makes it worth living in the first place.
After Nora Seed attempts suicide, she reaches a place between life and death—the midnight library. The time stops at midnight as she meets Mrs. Elms, who guides her through the workings of the library.
The author has weaved around the plot of multiple lives and parallel universes and is able to present it beautifully. All the lives though vastly different from each other, feels connected at some level.
I have wanted to read Matt Haig’s work for a long time, and I am glad that I picked up this particular book. The writing style is very appealing. The story is almost dreamy, and I wished it could have gone on for a while more.
I have read about Akashic Records, a term well known to those who meditate, and feel that the author has knowingly or unknowingly talked about the same. “The Akashic records are a compendium of all universal events, thoughts, words, emotions and intent ever to have occurred in the past, present, or future in terms of all entities and life forms, not just human. They are believed by theosophists to be encoded in a non-physical plane of existence known as the mental plane.” – Wikipedia
The Midnight Library offers a twist to the concept of Akashic Records by sticking to the current life and providing infinite possibilities of what else could one’s life had been if the person had made a slightly different choice at any stage of life.
A reader might expect the book to be a guide for depressed people and people with suicidal thoughts. But that’s not true. The role of this book is to provide you with a perspective of your own life. It is not a commentary on mental health. The book is a work of fiction and plays with the idea of “What could have been?” more than “What is?”
I would definitely recommend reading this book if you are looking for a light unique read, which goes beyond scope of your usual genres.