I definitely made my best books of 2020 post too early – this is now one of my favourite books of all time. It has the kind of message that I need to read every year so I think this one will be on the read yearly list from now on. Anyway, I cried, I laughed, I cried some more. Interesting concept, perfect message.
Star rating: 5 stars
I’d definitely read the trigger warnings before picking this book up – it starts with the protagonist, Nora Seed, attempting suicide. She ends up in The Midnight Library – the in between. There she can choose any regret she’s ever had and undo it to see what her life would be like.
This review is hard. Nora explores these parallel worlds where she made different choices – in one she’s an Olympic Swimmer, in another a famous rock star, in another a scientist on Svalbard. Some are less dramatically different from her root life. But even with her successes, she never really feels whole. I can find similar regrets in my own life, some big, some small. In some ways it was overwhelming thinking about all the small moments that could have changed my life in some way.
Through the alternative lives, Nora discovers what she is doing to make a difference to people in her root life. There’s some really beautiful moments, I cried a lot. To quote a friend, Matt Haig really did say live. I definitely have a different perspective on life now, and on my own choices. I’ll definitely read this book in any existential crisis from now on.
Have you read The Midnight Library? What did you think?