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?
My first contact with the writing of Matt Haig was his book, How to Stop Time. I was blown away by this book, so I had great expectations of The Midnight Library. Both books require suspending your disbelief, but the latter gives us more of Matt’s strategy of coping with everyday life.
Nora Seed has adapted to everything life has thrown at her. She has trained relentlessly as a world class swimmer to achieve her father’s hopes, she has given up her life in London to support her mother’s ill-health and she nearly married Dan to follow his dream of running a country pub. She is a talented musician, has a degree in Philosophy and yet most people would consider her a failure (or at least that’s what Nora thinks.)
“Every move has been a mistake, every decision a disaster, every day a retreat from who she imagined she should be.“
So she has given up on life only to find herself in the Midnight Library with her erstwhile mentor from school days. Now she has the opportunity to try another life by selecting a new book from the bookcases. And thus she discovers how it might have been if she had married Dan, gone to Australia with her friend, Izzy, or become a successful singer.
In each life, Nora gains more knowledge of herself and of those she had loved, but will it really help her lack of purpose or belief in herself? She has long followed the philosophy of Henry David Thoreau, but have his words, “Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you’ve imagined,” made any difference? Perhaps Nora will find her own solution?
I found this a less exciting adventure than How to Stop Time but much more thought provoking.
The Midnight Library on Amazon UK
My review of How to Stop Time