Book Reviews Contemporary Fantasy

The Midnight Library by Matt Haig

Book Summary

When Nora Seed finds herself in the Midnight Library, she has a chance to make things right. Up until now, her life has been full of misery and regret. She feels she has let everyone down, including herself. But things are about to change.

The books in the Midnight Library enable Nora to live as if she had done things differently. With the help of an old friend, she can now undo every one of her regrets as she tries to work out her perfect life. But things aren’t always what she imagined they’d be, and soon her choices place the library and herself in extreme danger.

Before time runs out, she must answer the ultimate question: what is the best way to live?

There are many things that could be said about the choices we make in life. But what if you were able to see your regrets, hold them, change them and deal with them in a way that wasn’t so painful? What if you could live the life you thought you should have?

In this novel, Nora gets the chance to do just that. Upon realizing that her life isn’t what she’d hoped for and that her decisions had led her to a place of heartache and loneliness, she takes matters into her own hands and commits suicide. However, even her death isn’t what she thought it would be.

Upon her final moments, she finds herself, not in her run-down apartment but in a library that doesn’t seem to end. Looking around, she knows this isn’t a place she’s been before but a familiar librarian stands behind a desk, seemingly awaiting her approach.

When she starts talking to the librarian, she is informed that all of the books are books about her life if she would have chosen a different path and the books are seemingly undendless. However, the most important book the librarian gives her is her book of regrets. As she pursues each path, the book of regrets is once again revealed to her and she is able to see how each path changes the book.

I found this book to be one of the most compelling and heart-aching books I have ever read. Especially on the heals of one of the hardest years in a lot of peoples lives. It tackles so many questions we all harbor in times of doubt and uncertainty. I am deeming this book a must-read. I know I will be picking it up again in the future.

Matt Haig
Viking, 2020
Contemporary | Fantasy

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