“Between life and death there is a library,” she said. “And within that library, the shelves go on for ever. 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?”–from the back cover of The Midnight Library
Admittedly, the consequence of choice is far from being an unexplored theme in literature. But Matt Haig’s approach to it in his latest novel, The Midnight Library, was truly inspired.
The book started out strong, with an incredibly gripping hook. And the momentum that that opening created kept up throughout the rest of the story. Despite not being an action-packed thriller, the storyline was so intriguing that I couldn’t bring myself to put the book down without finding out what happened next. All of the different stories that were explored through the titular Midnight Library were compelling in their own ways, and seeing how each one unfolded was fascinating.
What I loved the most about The Midnight Library, though, was without a doubt Nora herself. I found Haig’s talent for storytelling in general to be amazing, but he especially excelled at writing a unique, engaging main character. Her voice and personality were both captivating. Specifically, her forced nonchalance in the face of adversity, and her particular sense of humor. Both gave a sense of lightness to what could have otherwise been a too heavy story. On that same note, though, the book does deal with some serious topics. And Haig writes Nora’s use of humor in the face of her problems realistically and without disregard. He manages to alleviate the darkness and make the book an enjoyable read without negating the gravity of the issues that she (and the book) deal with.
All things considered, The Midnight Library was a wonderful book. It explored the idea of choice and how it affects our lives in a unique, engrossing way. It was the first of Haig’s books I’ve read, but it definitely showcased his talent, and I look forward to reading more of his work in the future!
Find and get a copy through Goodreads here!