The Midnight Library

The Midnight Library

by Matt Haig

by Matt Haig

It is difficult to know where to start with this book. Not that The Midnight Library is a bad book; far from it. Matt Haig is one of those writers who is able to take the most absurd sounding premise and turn it into something a little magical. 

Despite the story being about a young woman who decides to kill herself, The Midnight Library is full of humour and compassion. There is a serious thread that runs through the book, with Matt Haig drawing our attention to the absurdities and pressures of modern life.

Nora Seed is a troubled soul. Her life is littered with unfulfilled ambitions and abandoned dreams. Now in her mid-thirties, with her life going nowhere, Nora is determined to end it all.

With her body lying prone across her bed, Nora finds herself in a strange library, overseen by her old school Librarian, Mrs Elm, who is her guide through the mysteries of this between-world place. The books that line the endless shelves are windows into the different realities that could have been her life. It seems that Nora has been given an opportunity to undo past regrets and to see how life might have been if she had made different choices. 

As she experiences different versions of herself and her life, it becomes clear that not all her dreams were without price. For every new path she takes, unforeseen consequences lead her to question when she really wants from life.

An much like George Bailey in “It’s a Wonderful Life”, Nora Seed slowly becomes aware of her own worth and the true impact of her life on those around her. 

The Midnight Library is a funny and enlightening look at human frailties. I love the way Matt Haig makes the reader stop and think about themselves and their own actions and interactions. I thoroughly enjoyed the book and look forward to my next.