The Night Of Many Endings – Melissa Payne

Published By: Lake Union
Pages: 299
Released On: 19/10/2021

Orphaned at a young age and witness to her brother’s decline into addiction, Nora Martinez has every excuse to question the fairness of life. Instead, the openhearted librarian in the small Colorado community of Silver Ridge sees only promise. She holds on to the hope that she’ll be reunited with her missing brother and does what she can at the town library. It’s her home away from home, but it’s also a sanctuary for others who, like her brother, could use a second chance.

There’s Marlene, an elderly loner who believes that, apart from her husband, there’s little good left in the world; Jasmine, a troubled teen; Lewis, a homeless man with lost hope and one last wish; and Vlado, the security guard who loves a good book and, from afar, Nora.

As a winter storm buries Silver Ridge, this collection of lonely hearts takes shelter in the library. They’ll discover more about each other, and themselves, than they ever knew – and Nora will be forced to question her brother’s disappearance in ways she never could have imagined. No matter how stranded in life they feel, this fateful night could be the new beginning they didn’t think was possible.

*****

Thanks to Lake Union Publishing for the advanced copy of this title in return for an honest review.

Before I knew anything about this book, I did think it would be like Matt Haig’s “The Midnight Library”, involving experiencing different lives dependent on little changes made in the ‘real’ life. It even involves a library and the main character has the same name, Nora. But this is not like that in any way. It follows five acquaintances who are forced to shelter from a storm in the local library.

It does contain a number of tough topics such as homelessness, drug abuse, alcoholism, death, chronic illness and pain, being orphaned, suicide – it’s a lot to throw in, potentially too much for a book that isn’t particularly long.

It is very human in all its realism. It’s actually quite tough to be confronted with that at times. Unfortunately, I didn’t find any of the main characters particularly pleasant, for a number of reasons, and I wasn’t sure if I cared enough about them. It was a slow start but definitely improved with time, even if I thought it ended a bit too neatly given the horrendousness of the topics discussed.

Having said that, it isn’t overly dark or unpleasant, but it is a hard read. Not for everyone, but a good study of humanity at its lowest.

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