Title: The Midnight Library
Authors: Matt Haig
Genre: Current Lit
Page Count: 304
Publication Date: September 2020
TRIGGER WARNING: this book’s plot is rooted around suicide, so please take note of that before beginning this read.
The Midnight Library by Matt Haig was a highly regarded title when I purchased it in January of this year. I knew I was saving it for my last review of 2021 due to the storyline being compared to It’s a Wonderful Life on the back cover. I’m so happy I saved this scrumptious read until December. Very much like my experience with Normal People by Sally Rooney, I devoured The Midnight Library in less than a week.
Nora Seed, Haig’s main character, is struggling to find happiness in the life she’s leading and has reached, what she believes, the point of no return. After attempting to take her own life, Nora wakes up in a library run by her school librarian, Ms. Elm. Instead of books that you’d typically find in a library, each story is filled with a different version of Nora’s life based around regrets she’s had in her life.
This book is a poetic homage about how life is a jigsaw puzzle of joys and heartbreaks. Haig makes you think about how every choice you make can change the world you live in. Trivial decisions like quitting piano as a kid or saying yes to a date can led to the death of a friend or change the country you live in.
Only one section of this book was hard to digest for me. Nora starts discussing quantem physics and the multiverse with Hugo, a man experiencing life-jumping like her. It was too scifi-y in my opinion and was an unnecessary addition to the novel. Hugo’s struggle with satisfaction in life was the most interesting part of his section in the story.
Even with the slight scientific twist, I fell in love with the way Matt teaches us to love life. He reminds his readers about how the ups and downs of life are what make it worth living. I recommend this read to anyone struggling with regrets and happiness. I think that may be a lot of us right now, especially during the holidays and the new COVID surge happening around the world. This heartwarming read is perfect for the holiday season. It reminds you that even with its trials, life is pretty magical.
For anyone truly struggling with anxiety, depression, or thoughts of suicide, please consider reaching out to one of these national resources:
National Suicide Preventions Lifeline: Call 800-273-8255
Crisis Text Line: Text “talk” to 741741
You can purchase The Midnight Library here if you’re interested in reading. I will be reviewing Playlist for the Apocalypse by Rita Dove for the start of 2022, so feel free to purchase it here if you’d like to read along. The review will be up by the end of January. Stay tuned for December’s florilegium, created from The Midnight Library, on January 2nd.