Book review: The Midnight Library by Matt Haig

Nora Seed’s cat just died, her brother isn’t interested in her, she’s lost her job, is alone and feels useless. Overtaken by despair, she decides to end her life. But instead of dying Nora finds herself in the Midnight Library suspended between life and death with her primary school librarian and volumes of books on the shelves – each representing a different version on her life.

If you aim to be something you are not, you will always fail. Aim to be you. Aim to look and act and think like you. Aim to be the truest version of you. Embrace that you-ness. Endorse it. Love it. Work hard at it. And don’t give a second thought when people mock it or ridicule it. Most gossip is envy in disguise.

When she opens a book she steps into the life written on its pages and discovers the different destinies she could have had, from being an olympic swimmer, to a rock star and an Arctic researcher. She is variously a mother, wife and orphan, famous and ordinary. If she finds one that she thinks is the good life she craves, she can stay.

You don’t have to understand life. You just have to live it.

The Midnight Library is a speculative fiction novel by English journalist and author Matt Haig. The Midnight Library celebrates the ordinary and how the small choices we make each day can shape our lives.

A person was like a city. You couldn’t let a few less desirable parts put you off the whole. There may be bits you don’t like, a few dodgy side streets and suburbs, but the good stuff makes it worthwhile

At its essence this book confronts depression and anxiety by exploring the many worlds theory that postulates that a new universe blooms from each choice we make. The butterfly effect is also alive on the pages of The Midnight Library – the notion that the world is deeply interconnected in such a way that a small occurrence in one part of our complex system can influence larger consequences in other parts of the system in a non-linear fashion.

You see, doing one thing differently is very often the same as doing everything differently.

I found The Midnight Library to be a delightfully though provoking and easy read.

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