‘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?
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.
Title : The Midnight Library
Author : Matt Haig
Format : eARC
Page Count : 304
Genre : Literary Fiction
Publisher : Canongate Books
Release Date : August 13, 2020
Reviewer : Micky
Rating : ★ ★ ★ ★
Micky’s 4 star review
THE MIDNIGHT LIBRARY was such a clever and engaging concept. The protagonist Nora’s journey was a walk through hopelessness to a chink of light, right through to a place of possibility. I was thoroughly engaged with this strange but wonderful story throughout. It’s a hard one to pin to a genre but I’d call it either magical realism or sci-fi realism…just made up a new one there!
The depiction of depression in this narrative was painfully real, identifiable to anyone who has felt this way or has been close to someone who has. There was no prettying up of the experience, it was raw and gritty. I felt for Nora, even though she wasn’t overly likeable at the beginning. Nora definitely grew on me along the way.
Nora went through her social media. No messages, no comments, no new followers, no friend requests. She was antimatter, with added self pity.
No way am I going to spoil for you what the midnight library was but when it was revealed to me as a reader, I literally felt delighted at the concept. It was fresh and unique but also, I believed in the idea of it, for this story. The stories within the story were all about possiblity, the what ifs, the second guesses, the fantasies and the maybes; it was hard to look up from the page.
Did I have a favourite possiblity or character? Maybe but I think I always knew where it was going to end and that felt just right.
Matt Haig has told a wonderful story through fiction, maintaining his reign as the best mental health advocate out there. No patronising, no assuming, just real and kind. Highly recommended and I’m sure this book will have wide appeal.
Howl, into the night,
Howl, until the light,
Howl, your turn to fight,
Howl, just make it right.
Thank you to Canongate Books for the early review copy.