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.
The Midnight Library is a book that I have seen nothing but rave reviews for. It’s the entire reason that I bought it. I ended up getting my book club to choose this book for our March read. I was a bit disappointed by this book, but I can completely understand why so many people love it.
We follow Nora in her life around when she attempts suicide. But instead of whatever is beyond life, she finds herself in the Midnight Library, a place before actual death where every possible version of your life is stored. I thought this concept was really cool. You could have the chance to see what your life would be like had you made another choice at any point during your life. Nora is shown her book of regrets and the story goes from there. She tries out different lives that she could have had, none of them being what she thought they would or making her happy like she thought they might. I thought the idea of being able to see alternate versions of your life was really cool. I didn’t love that once Nora was in these lives, she didn’t have the memories from them. I thought that made things more complicated than they needed to be. But, overall, I liked these parts of the story.
My biggest problem with this book was Nora. She’s just tried to kill herself. So, she obviously is struggling with her mental health. It’s mentioned several times, in several versions of her life, that she takes anti-depressants. I liked this aspect. Normalizing taking medication and seeking help is such an important thing. But Nora just continually worked against herself. She was not a likable character in my opinion. I think this book did some great things, but I found that I couldn’t get myself to actually like Nora.
Overall, I can understand why so many people love this book. But it missed the mark a bit for me. I liked the concept, but with a main character that I didn’t like, the story just wasn’t as enjoyable as it could have been.
Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.