Author: Matt Haig
Narrator: Carey Mulligan
Released: September 29, 2020
Received: LibraryWarning: Depression, animal death, suicide, suicidal ideation, death of a parent, overdose
If I had to choose just one book that I read in 2022 that utterly wrecked me, it would be The Midnight Library by Matt Haig. I almost regret that it took me nearly two years to get around to reading it. I may have waited even longer if not for a friend’s recommendation.
How would you react if you learned that there is an entire library of potential lives for you to live? Each book contains a different path, created through a different series of choices you could have made. Which life would you choose?
Nora Seed has been presented with this challenging question. After finding herself wanting to die, she woke up in the Midnight Library. Now she must choose which life she would like to live, out of an infinite number of choices.
“Never underestimate the big importance of small things”
Words cannot fully describe what this book did to me. The Midnight Library ripped me open, gleefully showed me my own beating heart, and then put me back together again. In other words, it utterly wrecked me.
The Midnight Library covers many heavy subjects, and it is admittedly not suited for everyone. Nora Seed is suicidal at several points in this book, including the beginning. She loses loved ones, and not all of those losses are kind. Likewise, she does experience the death of a pet. Additionally, some of the deaths that occur involve cancer or overdoses. So please consider yourself warned of these subjects before diving in.
All of that being said, this is a powerful read. If you think you can handle all of my warnings above, then please make an attempt to read it. It is so worth it. It is worth every minute of pain and every tear shed. I promise you this.
“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.”
The Midnight Library takes a look at what it takes to be a person – to live. It’s introspective and causes the reader to look at all the choices they’ve made in life. But it also teaches us to appreciate those choices, for they made us who we are. There is something so simple and so beautiful in that fact.
I opted to listen to the audiobook of The Midnight Library, which was narrated by Carey Mulligan. She did a wonderful job here, and so I am very grateful that she was able to lend her voice to this story.