The Midnight Library

Between life and death there is a library, and within that library, the shelves go on forever.

Release Date
September 1, 2020
Author
Matt Haig
Page Count
304
Genre
Fiction, Magical Realism
What to expect
Regrets meet redemption; a beguiling premise
Who's it for?
Introspectives
Goodreads rating
4.22

Between life and death there is a library, and within that library, the shelves go on forever. 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 regret

 

Cover

Enchanting. I’m a sucker for those movie-like taglines, too.

 

Premise

Nora wants to end it all. Life seems too much — or to be really specific, not offering enough for her — and she decides to take action. What happens next is a chance to see the ‘sliding doors’ effect of her life.

She awakens in a library, somewhere between life and death. There, an infinite number of books line an infinite number of shelves. Each is a parallel life to her own, each branching off into so a different directions based on the decisions Nora made throughout her life. And now, she has an opportunity to live all the other lives that could have been. And a chance to undo all her regrets.

 

Gosh, I loved the premise of this book. It’s got a lovely little gem of an idea going on, but I fear overall the execution fell short of my expectations. The book dragged where I wanted it to flow and when I wanted more guts, I was left wanting. However, Nora’s experience with mental health felt authentic. The takeaways from the narrative also meant I came away reflecting on my own life and choices, something I always want a book to achieve. 

 

Artwork © The Bookish Type

Artwork © The Bookish Type

 

Review

Gosh, I loved the premise of this book. It’s got a lovely little gem of an idea going on, but I fear overall the execution fell short of my expectations.

The book dragged where I wanted it to flow and when I wanted more guts, I was left wanting. However, Nora’s experience with mental health felt authentic. The takeaways from the narrative also meant I came away reflecting on my own life and choices, something I always want a book to achieve. 

I wouldn’t say skip it, as there seems to be quite a few people out there who really enjoyed this book. But I truly didn’t love it enough to rave.

 

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.

— Matt Haig, The Midnight Librar

The Midnight Library
Cover
Premise
Prose
Characters
Ending
A beguiling premise
Easy reading
Underwhelming
Ending
3.5
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Circe
A colourful, curated blend of books, wine and creativity, with a soft spot for Australian work and female-centric narratives.


Fable and Fizz would like to acknowledge the Whadjuck Noongar people as the traditional owners and continual custodians on the lands and waters this content is primarily written on. I pay respects to their Elders — past and present. This always was, and always will be, Aboriginal land.
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