I have a package of bookplates that sit in my dresser drawer. It is not an item I use with any sort of frequency, but I have recently encountered a book worthy of a bookplate sticker. By marking this book as ex libris, I am specifying that:
- the novel was thought provoking and engrossing;
- the author gave me the feels;
- and I expect it back if I ever lend it to you.
It is with this opening that author Matt Haig poses humanity’s shared existential inquiry: If we could do it all over again, what would we do differently? Readers are invited to take this journey along with protagonist Nora Seed.
Nora Seed is one of us – she is all of us. Nora is an ordinary woman living with her cat, Volts, in England. She works as a sales clerk in String Theory, a music shop and double entendre. Nora is lonely. Depressed. Seeking, searching, and questioning.
Through the lens of sadness and despair, Nora makes a decision which brings her to the Midnight Library. At the Midnight Library, she encounters Mrs Elm, a school librarian who served as a significant figure in Nora’s “root” life and will ultimately help Nora “checkout” books from the library.
It is at this point in the narrative that the reader joins Nora on her journey of parallel lives. Haig writes with an awareness that isn’t overly sentimental or unbelievable. Each of Nora’s lives are entirely plausible and all of them reveal truths that mere mortals spend a lifetime trying to uncover. Each word, sentence, and paragraph in The Midnight Library feels essential – all the elements work together to form the perfect tapestry of a novel that shows the importance of philosophical inquiry and creativity.
Recommended reading for those that wonder about their place in the world, or readers who enjoy time travel. I highly recommend this novel for anyone (and everyone).
Rating (5 Unicorns): 🦄🦄🦄🦄🦄