THERE WILL BE SPOILERS!
The last fiction book I read was “The Midnight Library” by Matt Haig.
I’m not sure if I have ever mentioned this before, but I rarely read much fiction at all in comparison. So when I find a piece of fiction I like, I like to talk about it.
I’m not anti-fiction, because I write fiction, but I often worry that sometimes fiction from other authors can scramble themselves up into my mind and confuse me about what I have read and what I have thought of myself. Some authors will say that is the yumminess of reading fiction, it adds to your uniqueness, your reading experiences can become new tales, fresh in the way that only you can tell.
But that is where the imposter syndrome drives me insane the most. Just how unique would I be in my own writing, if I have read lots and lots of fiction rather than non-fiction? Well anyway, that is just me and it is probably way too complicated to talk about further, so let’s get on with this review!
As much as I loved this novel for its very insightful paragraphs and pep talks for life, there were many flaws to the plot I found and that made me itchy, irritated somewhat. Let me explain;
Nora feels that she is a failure at life, that she isn’t needed, she is desperate to have something to do, people to take care of and one day she wakes up to find that hardly anyone needs her anymore and her cat died to top it all. So she decides that it is best for everybody that she kills herself, so she tries to and when she tries, she wakes up inside a library staring at her old school librarian Mrs Elm.
She discovers that every book in the library are books of lives that could have been if only… Mrs Elm invites Nora to take a glance at the book of regrets and choose which regret she would like to work on – when she does so, she gets to experience that life and if that life is too disappointing for her, she then comes back to library to try again, but as long as the clock remains at midnight and not a minute past it, she can try as many times as she likes, fail to choose a life in time and she may lose her chance at life altogether!
What irritates me about this plot is this… each life she enters, she enters with complete amnesia about her past between that past regret and the years that lead to her current time span now, meaning she doesn’t know these new people that entered her life between now and then nor has any memories of any events that lead to where she is now. This only gets better after several weeks in those lives IF and only IF she feels happy with that life and she seldom does! So basically most of the plot of the book is a story about the main character going around in a permanent state of confusion, fear and amnesia and seeking out what the blazes happened to her, but is usually side-tracked by the busyness of life! Very irritating, this book could have been a lot more better and gripping if it weren’t for that major flaw.
To then put icing on the cake of disappointment, Nora finds a life she is happy in, yay, you think and you are happy for her, because she went through a lot to get to that happy state, but that life wasn’t meant to be, because just as she decided she wanted that particular life, the library goes into wreck and ruin and she has to choose to live the life she left originally or die.
So for me, it was a lovely book, full of life quotes I loved enough to stick in my art journals and a promising all round plot, but lots and lots of irritation and disappointments – especially when you never get to see how she actually lived her life after this event.
But that’s my two cents.