THE SUNDAY TIMES NUMBER ONE BESTSELLING WORLDWIDE PHENOMENON
READERS' MOST LOVED BOOK OF 2021
WINNER OF THE GOODREADS CHOICE AWARD FOR FICTION
'BEAUTIFUL' Jodi Picoult, 'UPLIFTING' i, 'BRILLIANT' Daily Mail, 'AMAZING' Joanna Cannon, 'ABSORBING' New York Times, 'THOUGHT-PROVOKING' Independent
Nora's life has been going from bad to worse. Then at the stroke of midnight on her last day on earth she finds herself transported to a library. There she is given the chance to undo her regrets and try out each of the other lives she might have lived. Which raises the ultimate question: with infinite choices, what is the best way to live?
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
Ever since his debut, The Last Family in England, featured a Labrador as a narrator, Matt Haig has displayed an incisive gift for using the supernatural to explore our everyday behaviour. Here, he takes us through the sliding doors of The Midnight Library. In this purgatory filled with books, Nora, a disillusioned thirtysomething on the edge of death, is given the chance to sample her alternative life stories and discover what might have been if she’d made some decisions differently. Taking the troubled, likeable Nora through her parallel realities, and serving up plenty of page-turning drama and warm wit along the way, Haig unpacks the true nature of regret and offers optimistic reminders why, even in our darkest hours, life can be worth holding on to.
Haig (How to Stop Time) draws on quantum wave theory in this charming if sometimes laborious account of the many possible lives of a depressed woman. Nora, in her mid-30s and living in the small English town of Bedford, suffers from "situational depression" though, as she wryly observes, "It's just that I keep on having new... situations." After she gets fired from her job and her cat dies, she attempts suicide, only to wake up in a book-lined liminal zone, where she is guided by a librarian: "Between life and death there is a library... Every book provides a chance to try another life you could have lived." There, Nora discovers what would have happened had she not abandoned her promising swimming career, called off her engagement, or left the rock band she started with her brother. Each time an alternate life disappoints or doesn't feel quite right, Nora exits, reappearing in the library to continue browsing for the perfect story. While the formula grows repetitive, the set changes provide novelty, as Haig whisks Nora from Australian beaches to a South American rock concert tour to an Arctic encounter with a polar bear. Haig's agreeable narrative voice and imagination will reward readers who take this book off the shelf.
A sensitive topic addressed in a sincere way
Thought provoking as well as enjoyable. A great heart felt read for all the positive reasons.
Right from the beginning to the end
The Midnight Library
An interesting concept for a story, I enjoyed jumping around through all the different “books”. The ending wasn’t predictable to me and was satisfying. A fun and easy read with a lead character who’d be relatable on many levels to most people at some point in their lives.