Saturday, July 13, 2024

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If You Had a Second Chance…

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“There is a library between life and death,” said he. “Shelves in this library go forever more. Each book offers you the chance to lead another life that you may have lived. You see what a life you will now have if you have made different choices…”

Welcome to the “Midnight Library”. In the book Put Down on Paper by Matt Haig deemed to be worthy of the Goodreads Best Novel of the Year 2020 award, Nora Seed lives the worst days of her life. She has been fired, has no boyfriend, her father and mother do not live and her brother does not talk to her. Being left alone when her cat has also died, the young woman is on the verge of suicide…

Our protagonist whose life is full of regrets finds herself in a library that exists between life and death and in which time is always at 00:00. In that place where virtual and actual lives mix together are green-covered books of indefinite number; each shows what a life Nora would have had if she had made different choices.

“Because, Nora, the only way to learn is to live,” says Mrs. Elm, guide of the library.

“It is too unmerciful.”

As Nora substitutes her other versions in each book in the parallel universe, each page turns to narrate how so different a timeline the smallest decision even creates as a consequence of unlimited alternatives that life offers.

Has Nora been able to find everything in those lives that look bright from the outside? Is happiness only hidden in those choices which we consider important?

In our lives, we remain between our decisions and what life and people offer us on several occasions. It is doubtless that all of us have experiences in which we question some decisions and kick ourselves, saying “Only if I would act differently”. I wonder how it would be for those people who are not happy with their lives to be able to go to different lives experienced in parallel universes and to be able to decide whatever they want. I could not stop myself from thinking “Only if we could go to our “only ifs” in a way and see what would happen. I think it is perhaps my time to open my book of regrets that my path has crossed with that of Nora Seed. I even believe that some works choose the person.

One of the aspects of the work which I like the most is that the protagonist studies philosophy which was the subject I liked the most in my high school years at the university. We encounter words of master artists in the most improbable places. It is sometimes Albert Camus, Jean-Paul Sartre, and sometimes Martin Heidegger.

The author’s fluent and zestful language draws the readers into that mystical atmosphere from the very first page onwards. Thanks to the dynamic structure of the plotline, the book has a style that could keep the reader active. I have finished the book fast. Parallel universes and multi-lives which do not go too deep have attracted my attention.

I recommend the “Midnight Library”, which is authored by Matt Haig and which contains a fancy setup, to all readers who like these subjects. Particularly, if you’re a person who frequently says “only if”, this book is just for you. Some books are not only read but they also affect a person’s heart, mind and even his spirit. Once the last page has been closed and the book has been put on the shelf, the impact it leaves continues for a long time.

No matter what your choices are, it is always possible to multiply the happy times in the quest for happiness in every life. We have to see the sorrows just like the black keys on a piano… As if we are in between the different parts of a symphony and are dancing…

Esra Karagulle

Instagram: @esragurkaragulle

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