Before getting my hands on this eBook from Edinburgh Libraries (forever thankful), I have seen rave as well as one-star reviews of this book on Instagram. I own two books by this author – Notes on a Nervous Planet and Reasons to Stay Alive. I would not consider it a complete self-help book, but it is about the author writing his views, thoughts and experiences while dealing with his mental health. Matt Haig is a person who brings forth issues about anxiety, mental breakdown, panic attacks, depression and so on in his books, and The Midnight Library is a fictional story that weaves in all these issues. In this book, we meet Nora Seed, our protagonist who suffers terribly from loneliness.
TW: Suicide, depression, death, loss
The story begins with an introduction to Nora Seed, a 35-year-old woman living in Bedford who attempts to commit suicide. Though the idea of killing herself has been in her mind for a while, what triggers her is the news about her cat’s death. However, after overdosing on sleeping pills before the clock strikes midnight, she does not immediately die. What happens next is she stays in a place that is in between life and death. The place looks like a library, the one she remembers from her childhood. She meets Mrs Elm, the librarian, a person she was fond of when she was a child visiting the library.