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?
In The Midnight Library, Matt Haig’s enchanting new novel, Nora Seed finds herself faced with this decision. Faced with the possibility of changing her life for a new one, following a different career, undoing old breakups, realizing her dreams of becoming a glaciologist; she must search within herself as she travels through the Midnight Library to decide what is truly fulfilling in life, and what makes it worth living in the first place.
“ While the midnight library stands Nora, you will be preserved from death. Now, you have to decide how you want to live. “
Nora Seed has had a rough 27 hours, her cat got ran over, she has lost her job, her brother is speaking to her, her best friend will not text her back, but the ex-fiancé she left at the alter is drunk texting her and the one person she gives piano lessons to has decided he no longer wants to play the piano. Feeling alone and depressed she takes a hand full of pills to put herself out of her misery. But Nora can’t even die properly, instead, she ends up somewhere in between life and death in of all places, a library.
The library isn’t a regular library, it is a library of regrets and choices. She is guided by her High School Librarian, and given the chance to relive parts of her life, to right the wrongs she might have done, and to be happy. If she is happy she will continue in that life until her natural death, if not she will find herself back in the library with another chance to try another book in her former life.
The Midnight Library is a heartbreaking book, with Nora feeling that life is no longer worth sticking around for. Matt Haig’s writing is both beautiful and brilliant as you travel with Nora while she tries to navigate her former choices and rectify certain regrets she made in her lifetime, and also learns to live and embrace life again.
I loved the entire concept of the book. The idea of a library of your life absolutely fascinated me. Haig’s writing kept me engaged and reading long into the night. And Nora, I think many of us will see ourselves in her at certain points throughout her life, as we have all had regrets and felt we may have made the wrong choices.
This was my first book by Matt Haig but his imaginative storytelling makes sure it will not be my last. The Midnight Library is a must-read for everyone.