A few months ago, we asked our Smile readers to send in some of their favorite recent books, and they did not disappoint! I picked up “The Midnight Library” from their recommendations and can see why it won Best Fiction of 2020 in the Goodreads Choice Awards.
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“The Midnight Library” is a fiction novel by Matt Haig about all the choices we make in our lives and how we each have the potential to become a million different versions of ourselves based on all the little decisions we make every day.
The story follows Nora Seed, a woman who is struggling and feels like nothing in her life has gone according to plan. While the initial chapters of the book are quite sad, Nora finds herself given a chance to start over in the Midnight Library, a magical place full of books of all the different paths her life could have taken. Nora is forced to stay in the library and try out different versions of her life until she finds the life she most wants to live.
I loved the idea that no dream or fork in your road is insignificant, and that they all lead us to become different versions of ourselves. In one life, Nora is an Olympic swimmer. In another, she is a glaciologist living on a boat off the coast of Antarctica. The novel reveals in a beautiful way that the potential we all have within us is infinite, and that we have the possibility to be happy in many different versions of life.
It also discusses how dangerous it can be to live your life haunted by regrets. The Midnight Library revealed to Nora that even when given the option to do things over and make very different choices, you may uncover a deeper appreciation for your current home and the people in your life.
It reminded me of the InspireMore mission to bring good news to people all over the world. While sometimes it might feel like your actions are insignificant, you never know who you might be helping or when a small act of kindness can really change someone’s day.
I really loved the blend of fantasy and magical realism in this novel, and I would love for this to be turned into a series where we get to explore the Midnight Library of other characters’ lives as well.
It has me thinking, if you could peek into some of the other versions of your life, would you want to?
Stay tuned for more monthly book reviews!
*Trigger warnings: suicide, death of a parent, mental health struggles.
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