The Midnight Library Book Review
Author: Matt Haig
Genre: Fantasy, Fiction
I am not sure if my book reviews make sense. For one, they are short because I try not to go into too many details about the plot or characters to avoid spoilers. And secondly, I don’t put out the synopsis because I assume the reader (even those who haven’t read the book) would have a fair idea of what the book is about. It won’t harm to revisit my “strategy” I suppose.
I read the blurb on the cover of The midnight Library and was immediately drawn to the book. I have a special place in my heart for contemporary, coming-of-age books that focus on mental health and are bound to uplift your mood by the end. Somewhere, I had also seen a comment that it is like Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine. (BTW, I heard that Eleanor Oliphant part 2 will be coming out this year? Really??? I am putting my life on hold till then). And so, I decided to put my trust in The Midnight Library.
The Midnight Library: Book Review
Here’s a quick look at the plot. Nora Seed is a 35 yo woman/girl who is depressed for several reasons. She decides to end her life but instead ends up in a library of possibilities. She can revisit her past choices and pick a future life she wishes to lead. So what do you think she’d choose?
There are two parts to my review of The Midnight Library.
Part One (Very pure; no spoilers at all)
Quite early into the book, I think most of us will be able to see how the story will unfold and what the ending is going to be. And yet there is so much that the book carries that you wouldn’t imagine.
The good part about the book is the innocence of the story and the protagonist. And how imaginatively certain parts have been written. Nora Seed is the most transparent and decent person you’ll ever meet. Her journey through the book may help you look into your own life and question your beliefs.
But at the same time, I didn’t enjoy the story as much. It is very gentle to read, likable and soothing like The Little Prince, but the book didn’t excite me (at all).
And mind you, it was a pretty expensive purchase. I don’t usually spend that much on books unless it’s a matter of urgency (Like in the time of Harry Potter sequels). Neither am I disappointed nor am I going to recommend not reading this book. It is inspiring and motivating and will bring hope into your life, but it’s not an urgent read.
Part Two ( Mildly corrupted, but honestly, no spoilers)
Truth be told, The Midnight Library is subtle self-help wrapped in fantasy fiction. Or even gentle philosophy cloaked as magical realism. I haven’t read anything by Matt Haig before, but he comes across as a very sympathetic soul who reads a lot on human psychology and philosophy.
If I were to write a book, I’d love to pick this theme. The primary idea behind the book is that one’s current life is complete in every sense, one needs to look at it the right way. It is a beautiful premise because most humans hold deep regrets in their hearts. This book is a sweet reminder. There are countless quotes of several beloved philosophers throughout the story that add beauty to the book.
I feel the book wasn’t really about the story in the first place. The author had this idea in mind, and so, Nora Seed’s story was just a means to deliver that idea. Basically, the hero in The Midnight Library is the idea. Considering the rave reviews that the book has received, I might be the only one who found it a bit boring. Somewhere in the middle, it became “preachy” as well.
To surmise, it was a feel-good story but lacked a binding force that a reader needs to stay hooked to a book. It could, at best, tepidly stir up my emotions and moderately kindle a spark in me.
Happy Reading. Chao!
To meet other interesting books listed genre-wise, check out the Book Shelf.