The #1 New York Times bestselling WORLDWIDE phenomenon
Winner of the Goodreads Choice Award for Fiction | A Good Morning America Book Club Pick | Independent (London) Ten Best Books of the Year
"A feel-good book guaranteed to lift your spirits."—The Washington Post
The dazzling reader-favorite about the choices that go into a life well lived, from the acclaimed author of How To Stop Time and The Comfort Book.
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, Matt Haig's enchanting blockbuster novel, 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, realizing her dreams of becoming a glaciologist; she must search within herself as she travels through the Midnight Library to decide what is truly fulfilling in life, and what makes it worth living in the first place.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
It’s not every day that a novel makes us rethink life itself. Pushed to the limit, Nora has decided to end her life, but she isn’t prepared for what happens next: waking up in a library stacked floor to ceiling with books, each containing a different version of how her time on earth could have played out. With touching warmth and surprising whimsy, Matt Haig’s fantasy sweeps us up in Nora’s journey as she explores her potential paths, hoping to find the one that would have led to happiness and fulfillment. Of course, no life story comes without some struggle and sadness, and Haig’s novel constantly reminds us of that bittersweet, beautiful wisdom. Poignant, funny, and a little bit odd, The Midnight Library had us in tears—and we wouldn’t change a word.
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.
It was good
I enjoyed this a lot; the writing is good, not great. I enjoyed the style and philosophy. It was a bit on the nose at times.
Imaginative and thoughtful
A Wonderful Read
Captivating and inspiring.