So last night, I wasn’t feeling well so went to bed early. Figured I would read alittle and fall right asleep. The Midnight Library had just become available to me digitally after a long wait, so I figured I’d get a good start on it before bed.
Two hours later, my husband came up and asked why I was still awake. I said I was just starting this book and was going to put it down soon. He asked if I knew it was now 10:30 at night. “Nope! Didn’t know that.” So much for going to bed early. Then just to see, I checked the page number (remember, I was on Libby so it wasn’t immediately obvious). People, I was on page 275 of an approximately 350 page book! That rarely happens to me. In a blink of an eye, two hours and 275 pages of solid reading (no skimming) had flown by. I can’t remember the last time I have been that engrossed in a book.
So to say I loved this book seems obvious. To give you the storyline, The Midnight Library on the surface is about one person: Nora Seed. She’s caught in a limbo of sorts; she has been given the chance to change any decision in her life and see what would have happened if she had made a different choice. For example, she wishes she had pursued her dream of studying glaciers, so just like that, she’s no longer the Nora Seed she knew, but now Nora Seed, a highly respected glaciologist working in the Arctic. She stays in each life until she decides it’s not for her, and then she returns to the Midnight Library. Here, in an immense library full of books with her life’s might-have-beens, she’s guided by Mrs. Elm, the past school librarian who made a big impact on her life. Mrs. Elm helps her choose each book, answers questions about what is happening, and gives some really solid advice.
Now to go deeper: through Nora’s experiences in different lives and Mrs. Elm’s sage advice, meaningful messages about human life in general begins to develop. And before I knew it, I was relating Nora’s might-have-beens to my own life. I started asking myself: is there such a thing as a “perfect” life? What would be my definition of that? What makes a life worth living? A line that really stuck with me after finishing the book (all in one sitting, if you were wondering) is “never underestimate the big importance of small things.” Sometimes I feel like I am leading a small life, but this book reminded me that something that seems small to me might make a huge difference in someone else’s life. You never know how far the ripple extends, even if you throw the smallest stone into the pond.
So at the end of the book, even though everything didn’t end tied up in a neat little bow (because what in life really does), I felt a sense of peace, and that I am exactly where I am supposed to be in my own life. Any book that can trigger that much deep thought is worth five stars in my book!
P.S I read some Goodreads reviews and found it interesting how other lines stuck out to other readers, depending on where they were in their own lives. This book is just super relatable to a wide audience with lots of great quotes to ponder well after you read the final page.