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The Midnight Library by Matt Haig [Book review]

I have heard a lot of good things about this book and had wanted to read it for a while. So when it was offered as the choice for our monthly book club pick I was very excited to get stuck in! It was a great introduction to Matt Haigs work and I am now looking forward to reading more of his books!

"She knew only one thing with absolute certainty: she didn't want to reach tomorrow. She stood up. She found a pen and a piece of paper. It was, she decided, a very good time to die."


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.

My thoughts

I thought this was such a delightful and quirky book. The book centres around Nora, a lonely, depressed woman who feels she has nothing left to give and no one who would miss her if she left her life behind. Nora dies and ends up in this magical purgatory designed as a library where she can choose other parallel lives she has lived and try them out to see if her regrets were worth holding on to.

I loved the premise of this book, the chance to find out what would have happened if you had taken another path or made another decision. Something I am sure we have all wondered at some point or another (I know I have). It highlighted the power of our regrets and the hold they may have over our lives and how we choose to move on.

When she was presented with her 'book of regrets' it made me think about humans and our ability to hold onto things we regret, always thinking the grass might be greener, or things might have been better had we made a different choice. I know I certainly have things I regret in my lifetime but I also like to think that if I had made different choices my path would have gone a different way and I would not have all the things in my life that are important to me now. I can't imagine a life without my family its too weird to contemplate!

There are some great messages within the story, mental health is discussed sensitively and it also encompasses the themes of loss, grief, loneliness, strength and hope. Nora has a lot of struggles within her life, she holds onto a lot of grief and feels she is not needed in this life, she cannot see past her own sadness. The book highlights her feelings and how she deals with them in a delicate way.

As she stumbles through different lives, Nora begins to learn a lot about herself and her choices and realises that maybe some things are better left In the past. She tries out all the different versions of herself available and learns a lot in the process.

Is the grass greener elsewhere? Could she have made better choices by going down a different route? Would it have made any difference? That's for you to find out, but I whole heartedly think you should give it a go!

I hope this intrigues you and you decide to go and pick up a copy of this book as it was truly a lovely story to read and gives you a lot of food for thought.

Let me know your thoughts in the comments, have you read this one? Is it one to add to your TBR list?

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