I will start by saying I LOVED the book. And in my opinion everyone MUST read it!
I started this book in Quebec City with an amazing breakfast as you can see.
A more like a philosophical read, about life and death and the chances and possibilities we could have. How would it be if we get to live and experience another life if we had chosen something else. Say, if I hadn’t started writing and publishing a book, I wouldn’t be a writer. If I had chosen medicine instead of computer sciences, I would have been a doctor now. If I hadn’t married then I wouldn’t be a mother either. So many lives and endless possibilities based on your past actions. How would it feel if we have our own Book of Regrets to see what and where we went wrong?
The Midnight Library is about the life of Nora Seed who has lost every hope in her life. She doesn’t see any goodness in life as she has lost her job, lost her cat, and no parents to share her pain. She is cross with her brother and broken up with her boyfriend. Instead, she choses an easy path — to take her life.
“Between life and death there is a library, and within that library, the shelves go on forever. Every book provides a chance to try another life you could have lived. To see how things would be if you had made other choices… Would you have done anything different, if you had the chance to undo your regrets?”
During her journey from life to death, she wakes up in a library amassing hundreds and thousands of books. She meets her school librarian Mrs Elm, whom she had trusted most in her childhood. Nora tells Mrs Elm that she purposely tried to kill herself and see no point in carrying on. Mrs Elm explains Nora about how the library works by picking the first book in the library. Nora pulls out the book, too heavy to carry, where she goes through all her regrets. She turned down the proposal by her boyfriend because she had to take care of her mother. She never pursued her career in swimming though she was really good at it. She didn’t become a songwriter and singer because she was afraid of facing the crowd. She never continued her studies in Philosophy or even went out for a coffee when her neighbour asked her out. All her regrets were right in front of her. And Nora got the opportunity to live all those possible lives.
“A person was like a city. You couldn’t let a few less desirable parts put you off the whole. There may be bits you don’t like, a few dodgy side streets and suburbs, but the good stuff makes it worth-while.”
At first, she picks the book of how her life would be if she had said ‘yes’ to her boyfriend and followed his dream to open the pub in country. In this life, she is married and yet the man had made her unhappy by having an affair. As soon as Nora realizes and regrets, she is back in the Midnight Library. Another life is about Nora pursuing the career of swimming. She’s participated in Olympics. She is extremely successful, where her father is alive and she gets another chance to speak to him. But she is not yet happy and its not fulfilling. She picks another book, where she is a singer in a very successful band but she has no parents and her life is not personal anymore. Another life is becoming glaciologist where she almost risks her life by facing a polar bear. In another life, she is married to a man with huge vineyard and very successful business. In one life she has everything but her brother is dead.
In each of her life, she hasn’t achieved all and has lost something very precious to her.
If we all think about our lives, we cannot have sheer happiness. We will have joyful moments but we will also have sad moments. It depends on how one sees life. You can see darkness in everything or you can chose to see goodness. It’s all in our head.
“In chess, as in life, possibility is the basis of everything. Every hope, every dream, every regret, every moment of living. “
I really enjoyed the book and highly recommend it.