The Midnight Library, Matt Haig
My mother gave me this book to read. The main character, Nora Seed, loses her job. Mentally, she’s a black hole collapsing in on itself. It’s that feeling of no one needing you, a deep emotion of being alone. She decides to kill herself and ends up in a dead zone between life and death that puts her in a ‘Midnight Library’ with her old librarian from school. The shelves are aligned with books carrying within them another life she could have lived. So, she begins picking out books and living alternative lives. Disappointment brings her back to the library from her other life within a book. She realizes it’s not as she imagined it to be – a library of possibility. One life she was a world-class swimmer; then a pub owner; a world-famous singer…. All with that same question that comes with it – what is the best life to live? An opportunity to undo any mistake she made, and live any life she wants. She didn’t have to enjoy every aspect of each life to keep having the option of experiencing them. She just had to never give up on the idea that there would be life somewhere that could be enjoyed.
We only know what we perceive. Everything we experience is ultimately just our perception of it. So, what life did she choose? That’s an answer one should already know when they begin the book.