The Midnight Library, Matt Haig’s one-of-a-kind novel, ponders life’s endless possibilities. It tells the story of Nora Seed, a young woman who lives a dull, everyday existence and feels undesired and unaccomplished. One night her anguish reaches a peak, and she commits suicide. But the story doesn’t end there; Nora gets to see how her life might have turned out if she had made different decisions. She finds herself in the Midnight Library, which exists between life and death and is filled with books containing endless parallel lives she could’ve lived. She is given the opportunity to undo her regrets by trying out these lives, beginning right where her alternate self would’ve been on the night she ended her life.
While at the Midnight Library, Nora experiences hundreds of lives and transforms into hundreds of various versions of herself. Some she could never have imagined, but she is forced to make a terrible choice. She must determine what she is prepared to give up in order to live permanently in one of these ‘ideal’ lives. They appear great for a moment but, soon or later, there are actually full of new obstacles. Nora’s self-discovery is fascinating as she tries to figure out what is truly essential in life.
His novel is thought-provoking and well-written. Nora’s emotions are well described, and I was hooked by Haig’s storytelling. While the concept is basic, it drew me in as a reader and covered a wide range of emotional experiences that come with life. I spent most of The Midnight Library thinking on my own life and decisions, as well as looking forward and picturing the unlimited possibilities—this is a hallmark of a gifted author.
While I liked the novel’s depth, it had a repetitious, even pedantic tone at moments when an important point was obviously clear. But it kept being emphasised on—this was prevalent when life lessons were brought up. There were also attempts to make Nora’s life-jumping seem scientifically conceivable, using quantum physics, which I didn’t think was necessary because the focus was on Nora’s life and personal growth. Overall, I enjoyed The Midnight Library a lot. Character development, setting, and plot are all fascinating, while essential aspect like mental health are addressed.
Two Life Lessons
Two of my favourite quotes from this book are that
“Never underestimate the big importance of small things.”The Midnight Library
This book explains how one decision, no matter how big or tiny, minor or major, can lead to chaos of events. Reading The Midnight Library will make you reflect on how true that is. It encourages the reader to think deeply on the consequences of our actions.
“He believed that the more people were connected on social media, the lonelier society became”The Midnight Library
This book is a wake-up call to all that is wrong with the world, including how dependent we have gotten on technology and its consequences. We believe that the more we socialise online, the better we will be seen. Matt Haig is correct to point out how incorrect this view is when applied excessively. It’s one thing to use social media to stay connected and up to speed with loved ones, but it’s quite another to use it to substitute actual relationships.
I would recommend The Midnight Library to both teens and adults. It’s a small book that will get you thinking and have you on the edge of your seat. And it might just make you realise how much untapped potential you have!