Review of 'The Midnight Library'

The Midnight Library by Matt Haig

the_midnight_library.jpg Nora's life is not going well so she begins making plans to end it. On her last day on earth she is unexpectedly transported to the “Midnight Library” where a helpful librarian informs her that the books that surround her contain alternative versions of her life that she can pick from, living the life they represent for a short period of time to decide whether she wants to live it or not. Aided by her literal “Book of Regrets” and with a good deal of trepidation Nora begins her journey by living lives she knows others wanted her to pick: Her former boyfriend's wish that they operate a pub, her brother's wish for her to join the band and become a rock star, following her father's advice to pursue swimming and becoming a famous Olympian…She realizes that perhaps she should be more interested in what she really wants…

An interesting and somewhat quirky story about finding what is really important in life. Is it really success or following what other's want for you or is it more a matter of understanding what you really want to make yourself happy. Though it starts in quite a dark place the book has various points of absurdity, humour and fun Nora jumps from life to life searching for happiness and satisfaction before her time runs out.

Haig is known for his other non-fiction works such as “Reasons to Stay Alive” and “How to Stop Time” which deal with depression and finding meaning in life which is very much echoed in “The Midnight Library” though here in a much lighter and perhaps more fun way. “The Midnight Library” is a relatively easy book to read with fairly short chapters and a good deal to keep the reader interested up until the final page. Gentle in temperament this book puts across it's points in a non-condescending way but at the same time cutting to the heart of the issues that effect most people in our society.

An interesting and enjoyable read if a bit draggy in parts.

Rating: “Nearly perfect, but not quite”

Review Date: 2022-06-19


Genre: General Fiction

Publisher: Canongate Books

Publication Date: 2020

ISBN: 9781786892737