Between life and death there is a library.
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?
I absolutely loved this book with every fibre in my being. It’s one of the best books I have read this year and it’s genuinely a story I will cherish for the rest of my life. An easy 5 ⭐️ rating. The Midnight Library shines a light on mental health in a creative, memorable and meaningful way. I described this as a kind of modern day mindscape that is reminiscent of Back to the Future and It’s A Wonderful Life vibes, with Haig’s own imagination and heart.
We follow the main character, Nora Seed, who’s struggling to cope with the challenges life can bring and ultimately decides to end her life. But when she does this, she ends up in The Midnight Library: a place that lets her explore the infinite lives she could have had.
I haven’t read a book that has handled such serious matters – like loss, depression, suicide, human connection – with the heart, understanding and delicacy Haig masters. Not only did I enjoy Nora’s journey and such meaningful and moving prose on mental health, but I also appreciated Haig broaching on the matter of climate change and the impact of social media too.
The Midnight Library made me laugh, it made me cry and it made my heart a little lighter than it was the day before. I read the book in one day as I couldn’t put it down; it truly was wondrous, thoughtful and, quite honestly, life affirming. I really did describe this story as life affirming to my family, who I have gifted copies of the book to, because it’s THAT good. I cannot gush about this book enough. It’ll break your heart whilst simultaneously put the pieces back together. It’ll make you whimsical, with an ending that is cathartic and so hopeful. Everyone who’s wanting a heart warming story that makes you not only appreciate everything around you, but appreciate yourself, is definitely one to pick up!
If you loved the grounding feel of Charlie Mackesy’s story in The Boy, The Mole, The Fox and The Horse, you have to add this to your TBR.
The Midnight Library by Matt Haig
Published August 2020
Genre: fiction, fantasy.