The Midnight Library by Matt Haig

Book: The Midnight Library

Author: Matt Haig

Genre: Fiction; Magical Realism/slight sci-fi; mental health

Publisher: Viking

Publication Date: September 29, 2020

Format: Hardcover

Length: 304 pages

“Between Life and Death there is a library.”

Fair warning, the first sentence of the first chapter of this book begins, “Nineteen years before she decided to die, Nora Seed…” So expect talk of suicide. However, this isn’t so much a book about suicide as it is a book about life. Well, technically it’s a book about lives, plural. Specifically, it’s about all those decisions—both big and small—that we each make every day and how our choices affect ourselves, the people around us, and even the world as a whole. A single decision can change everything.

Not gonna lie, this book was an emotionally-difficult read for me. The beginning in particular hit me really hard. I’ve recently found myself at a crossroads in both my career and life in general, so the concept of different lives based on past and current decisions struck pretty close to home. I mean, even seemly-small choices Nora makes have big impacts on other people.

This was a heavier read than I expected and I don’t think it quite lived up to the hype around it. I did enjoy it to a certain extent, though. Even though Nora has ridiculous amounts of potential in various and sundry skills and disciplines, she’s still very relatable. It was interesting to see how she responded to different versions of her own life.

*Trigger warning for suicide and mentions of substance abuse.

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