The Midnight Library by Matt Haig
My Rating: 4 of 5 Stars

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This book. Especially in these times. This book. Like a little cocoon of warmth in the stormy evening. Akin to a genuine hug amid the phoney social circles. A love story with self. A cascade of calm.

The Midnight Library, at its core, is a testament to the inherent goodness in every life; only, it is narrated in a fantastical way, a way beyond life and little short of death, because unless we are shown something otherworldly, we don’t appreciate the commonplace. Just like Nora. Until she became privy to multiple lives – that of an Olympian Swimmer and a Rockstar, a Glaciologist and an Academician – she didn’t comprehend what lay sealed in the recesses of her heart. A mute, expectant love, waiting to spread wings and overwhelm Nora’s being.

And when she thought of her root life, the fundamental problem with it, the thing that had left her vulnerable, really, was the absence of love.

The Midnight Library and its librarian, the endearing and wise, Mrs. Elm, provided Nora a chance to relive a life she was (nearly) done with; a cycle that she had the power to manoeuvre in any direction she wished. And chances she did take. Hopping into multiple bodies and slipping into different emotions made her more conscious of what she had left behind, like succumbing to an acute yearning for home when one is travelling, even conquering, the world.

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 worthwhile.

And worthwhile it was. To know that I was capable. To know that fumbles are normal. To know that deluges pass too. To know that friends are just a word away. To know that the whole city of life is dotted with trees of kindness that pop up at every corner to provide shade even when I am not looking for them.

This library. Especially in these times. This library. Get in. And tell me when you find your Mrs. Elm.

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5 thoughts

  1. Wonderful review, Seemita! I haven’t read this book yet. It looks so beautiful! Loved the quotes you shared. Mrs.Elm looks like a fascinating character. Looking forward to reading it. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

    Liked by 1 person

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