The Midnight Library by Matt Haig

Fri, 03/12/2021 - 10:57am -- BHanley

The Midnight Library by Matt Haig is an enjoyable, feel-good and ultimately rewarding story with an important focus on mental health, personal identity, and relationships. Living in her hometown, Nora Seed is depressed but doesn’t know or understand it. She sees her life as a string of personal and professional failures. She’s made choices that have led to regrets and they eat at her daily. Nora takes drastic measures and [trigger warning] attempts suicide. She wakes in a sort-of intermediary realm, neither life nor death. She is greeted by a librarian from her youth and the librarian calls the place, The Midnight Library. Here, on endless shelves, are Nora Seed’s alternate lives with each book containing a different path if she had tried something different, pursued a relationship, or traveled the globe. Nora is given a unique opportunity to “try on” these alternate lives. All she has to do is think about a decision she made, the book is found on the shelf, and then Nora gets to live the alternate life and see whether she missed any opportunity or possibility. Gradually, Nora discovers that she is the key to her own happiness. The Midnight Library is less about the story and more about the character and life lessons. There’s exceptional commentary on mental health, identity and desire, and self-worth. All human beings have regrets, but it’s how we perceive these regrets and what we do about them that truly matters. The Midnight Library is compulsively readable, a heartwarming read, and worth the (long) wait on the holds list.

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