Book Review from the Blog: The Midnight Library by Matt HaigMar 07, 2021
When a member of our book group chose this book, I was not sure that it was going to be for me. I love psychological thrillers and historical fiction. This was a book that was described as fantasy or science fiction. NOT MY THING!
But, we are a group of women, most of whom have never met each other before. Part of the fun of the group is exploring different types of books and stepping outside of our comfort zones.
I am so glad I did.
The main character is Nora, who is very unhappy with her life and tries to kill herself. She finds herself at a place called The Midnight Library where every book on the shelves represents a life that she could have lived had she made different choices along the way.
She is able to "try on" the different lives that could have been. However, she can only continue to do this as long as she maintains the will to live. Once she has lost that, she will die forever.
I'm not going to go into anymore detail about the plot because I don't want to spoil the ending should you decide to read this book.
I highly recommend that you do.
TAKEAWAYS AND RANDOM THOUGHTS FROM A WOMAN AFTER 50
I closed this book and was overwhelmed with the "life lessons" in its pages. I rarely re-read books but this one I will keep and likely read over again. Here are my random thoughts, for now:
The freakout that occurred as I thought about how each tiny decision that I've made in my life has set me on the trajectory to be where I am now was real. And who knows where I'd be or WHO I'd be or what I'd be doing had I made any of a myriad of other choices along the way! For the control freak anxiety filled me, that's so much to take in and process. Which leads to my next random thought...
WOULD I RE-DO ANYTHING?
I can confidently and emphatically answer, "NO!" Do I have regrets? Of course I do. But, if I redid anything - anything at all - I would not be where I am right now. Married to an incredible man, mom of two wonderful sons, and grandmother of 5 of the cutest grandkids you ever did see. Creating content for my ladies. Working with kiddos on the autism spectrum. Rescuing dogs. Having the friends that I have and being a part of the communities that I'm a part of.
I love my life and had I made other decisions I wouldn't be here.
MY FOUR FAVORITE QUOTES FROM THE MIDNIGHT LIBRARY
This book is full of thought provoking ideas and quotes. But, these four are my favorites.
- "Never underestimate the power of small things." I would argue that what might be a small thing to you, is a large thing to someone else. One small act of kindness that we do for another person could change the whole trajectory of their life in a positive way.
- "The only way to learn is to live." And to "do."
- "And even if you were a pawn - maybe we all are - then you should remember that a pawn is the most magical piece of all. It might look small and ordinary but it isn't. because a pawn is never just a pawn. A pawn is a queen-in-waiting. All you need to do is find a way to keep moving forward. One square after another. And you can get to the other side and unlock all kinds of power.” This was such a powerful statement. We all have the ability to do all of the things if we just keep moving forward.
- "Sometimes regrets aren't based on facts at all. Sometimes regrets are just a load of bullshit." For me, the word "sometimes" could be changed to "often."
Again, even the regrets I have that aren't a load of bullshit, cannot be undone. Or I and my family wouldn't be where we are today.
WHAT WE AFTER 50ERS CAN TAKE AWAY IN TERMS OF REGRET
Regret is a main component of "The Midnight Library." Nora feels badly that she wasn't there for others as she should have been and their lives were negatively affected because of it. I did a little research on regret and these findings are pertinent for us:
- We regret most the things we did NOT do rather than the things that we did do.
- We regret most intensely the things that we didn't do that we can still possibly do.
And grab a copy of "The Midnight Library."