BOOK REVIEWS: The Midnight Library by Matt Haig


Title: The Midnight Library
Author: Matt Haig
Publication: September 29, 2020
Publisher: Viking
Genre: Fantasy
Pages: 304


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SYNOPSIS: (From Goodreads)

Between life and death there is a library, and within that library, the shelves go on forever. Every book provides a chance to try another life you could have lived. To see how things would be if you had made other choices . . . Would you have done anything different, if you had the chance to undo your regrets?

A dazzling novel about all the choices that go into a life well lived, from the internationally bestselling author of Reasons to Stay Alive and How To Stop Time.

Somewhere out beyond the edge of the universe there is a library that contains an infinite number of books, each one the story of another reality. One tells the story of your life as it is, along with another book for the other life you could have lived if you had made a different choice at any point in your life. While we all wonder how our lives might have been, what if you had the chance to go to the library and see for yourself? Would any of these other lives truly be better?


I had gotten a few recommendations to read this book.  I have seen it on bookstagram.  So when I needed to pick a fantasy book for book club I knew that I wanted to suggest this book.  I couldn’t wait to read it.  I was hoping that it would be as good as I had heard.

Nora Seed goes through her life sad and depressed.  She thinks that she has nothing to live for.  It all comes to a head when she loses her job and then that night her cat gets hit by a car.  She decides right then and there that she is going to end her life.  She writes a note, calls her brother.  Except she doesn’t fully die.  She finds herself in the Midnight Library.  It is filled with a Book of Regrets and all the shelves are filled with books of her “what if” lives.  Can all these books help her to save her own life?  First off before you read this book if you have any mental health issues with suicide ideations this is a TRIGGER WARNING.  I have issues with mental health but most of it is anxiety-driven that then triggers other issues. I had to stop and start this book several times because it was causing me to get very anxious. However, once Nora actually made it into the Midnight Library all the triggers have gone away and I LOVED this book.  

This book is very thought-provoking for your own life.  It makes you question what if I had taken a different path than what I did.  Would I have become that person that I dreamed of?  The way that Nora grows as she experiences each of her life is heart-warming.  She realizes that her life is worth living and that SHE is in charge of her life and not the events that happen around her.  She realizes that her brother is important to her and in one life her brother dies of an overdose and she is so upset over it.  It makes her realize to an extent what would happen with her brother if she died.  Along the way, she has Mrs. Elm who was her librarian as a kid guiding her through the library.  I think she was my favorite character, she was feisty and she took no guff from Nora at all.  She told her like it is and didn’t really butter coat anything else. I really liked this author and I think that I will be checking out other books by him.  I hope the deep thinking is woven through those books as well.  

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