The Midnight Library – Matt Haig

Published by: Canongate Books
Pages: 288
Date released: 13/08/2020
Date read: 15/08/2020

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, 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, realising her dreams of becoming a glaciologist; she must search within herself as she travels through the Midnight Library to decide what is truly fulfilling her life, and what makes it worth living in the first place.

I love Matt Haig.

There I said it.

I have all of his books – fiction, non-fiction, kids’ books. I don’t care what it is, if he writes a book, I have to have it. In fact, his books take up almost an entire shelf of my bookcase, and I’m proud of that.

This is going to sound quite pretentious but it’s the truth; I bought Reasons to Stay Alive back when it was published in 2015, way before it became the big phenomenon, celeb-loved book it is now. I bought it during a dark time of my life, and it’s not exaggeration to say that it did save my life. Not necessarily in the literal way of stopping someone taking their own life, but in a more, internal way. It made me stop and think about my life, what I wanted from it, what it meant to me. And each of his subsequent books have had the same result.

Including this one. It couldn’t’ have arrived at a better time. It dropped through my letterbox the day after the funeral of a very dear friend. That was actually the 10th person I had lost since 2016 and it never gets any easier. When I got home afterwards, I curled up in bed and sobbed my heart out until I heard this book fall onto my doormat.

The grief and physical and mental pain I’ve lived with over the years had got too much and I finally decided t hat I’d had enough of it. And then I opened this book, and I fell in love all over again, and my outlook on life became more positive. Everyone has experienced tough times in their life, and most people will have questioned their own life once or twice, and you can tell that Matt Haig has equally experienced this pain. And in his writing, it feels like he knows exactly what each and everyone of us is going through. And once again, he has saved my life.

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