Monday, January 4, 2021

The Midnight Library - Matt Haig

I loved the cover and the premise of Matt Haig's novel, The Midnight Library.

What's it about? From Viking Books:

"“Between life and death there is a library, and within that library, the shelves go on forever. Every book provides a chance to try another life you could have lived. To see how things would be if you had made other choices . . . Would you have done anything different, if you had the chance to undo your regrets?” 

A dazzling novel about all the choices that go into a life well lived, from the internationally bestselling author of Reasons to Stay Alive and How To Stop Time.

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 new 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."

My Thoughts:

Well, Haig had me at library. And a library of an endless number of books that are alternate possible lives? That opens up so many possibilities. "Would you have done anything different, if you had the chance to undo your regrets?"

Nora Seed has lost her will to live, but she now has the opportunity to see what might have been if she'd made different choices. The reader can't help but wonder and look back at their own lives to see what difference a single choice would have made. Nora explores many lives and her thinking changes. I liked her as a lead character - her honesty, her curiousness, her exploration of what makes a good life. 

Haig's imaginings of how an alternate 'multiverse' might play out was intriguing. Dropping Nora into each new life with little or now background made for fresh reading each time she travelled. I did find that Nora's possible lives were all fairly successful. I would have liked to see possible lives that were not as fortuitous

There's lots of food for thought in The Midnight Library - Nora has a philosophy degree in her 'root life' and Haig presents much of Nora's introspection through those posits.

Which life does Nora choose? You'll have to discover that yourself - but remember.. "Never underestimate the big importance of small things." 

Read an excerpt of The Midnight Library. A New York Times bestseller | Winner of the Goodreads Choice Award for Fiction | A Good Morning America Book Club Pick.


Ethan said...

This is a bit of a departure from my usual reads, but I can't resist a library! Happy New Year!

Luanne said...

Happy New Year Ethan. I'll watch for your review!