Lived up to the hype!
Rarely do I find that hugely popular word-of-mouth books live up to their expectations, but this one knocked it out of the park. I am an absolute sucker for any fiction that has a magical realism spin to it, and I found the plot of this to be super fantastic.
Nora is depressed and blames everything in her life on the choices she’s made, or rather, has avoided making for years. For the first few segments of the book, I was unsure how I was going to like this because wow her character was grating on me, but as the book progresses Nora really grows as a character. When Nora finally decides to end her life, she ends up in The Midnight Library, a place where every regret she has and every choice she has or hasn’t made exists in another universe inside a book. She can take the book and step into this parallel world where perhaps she lives our her father’s dream of Olympic Gold, lives her brother’s dream of their band hitting it big, and lives out society’s dream of getting married and having children. With every book, she steps through she learns a little bit more about herself and what she truly wants out of life or death.
Now let me be clear, I saw the ending coming from the first 50 pages or so, but I still found it to be a great read. I don’t think the ending needs to be a surprise or twist in order for it to be sufficient, so I thought the ending was perfect for the build of the story. Honestly, this book is a little cheesy in its “believe in yourself!” sorta way, but I think everyone does need to read something like that from time to time.
This isn’t one of those books I think would win a ton of awards or be lauded forever, but it reminded me a lot of Anxious People in that I think it’s the kind of book that will mean something different to the reader depending upon the time frame in which you read it. For me, this was the kind of book I needed this week, and thus I am always going to look back and remember it fondly.
Title: The Midnight Library
Author: Matt Haig
Three Descriptors: Magical, Mystical, Engaging
A long way down by Nick Hornby
Or What You Will by Jo Walton
Life After Life by Kate Atkinson
Oona Out of Order by Margarita Montimore
The Invisible Library by Genevive Cogman