About the Book:
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 regrets?”
A dazzling novel about all the choices that go into a life well lived, from the internationally bestselling author of Reasons to Stay Alive and How To Stop Time.
Somewhere out beyond the edge of the universe there is a library that contains an infinite number of books, each one the story of another reality. One tells the story of your life as it is, along with another book for the other life you could have lived if you had made a different choice at any point in your life. While we all wonder how our lives might have been, what if you had the chance to go to the library and see for yourself? Would any of these other lives truly be better?
In The Midnight Library, Matt Haig’s enchanting new novel, Nora Seed finds herself faced with this decision. Faced with the possibility of changing her life for a new one, following a different career, undoing old breakups, realizing her dreams of becoming a glaciologist; she must search within herself as she travels through the Midnight Library to decide what is truly fulfilling in life, and what makes it worth living in the first place.
Alternate realities! Carey Mulligan as narrator! Breathtaking.
“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 regrets?”
Intriguing premise, right? Lonely Nora Seed has just lost her job, her personal relationships are non-existent, and her loneliness and despair are just too overwhelming to bear. She decides to end her life, but somewhere in between life and death, she enters the Midnight Library, a magical place with Mrs. Elm as the librarian. Here, Nora’s life could take an infinite number of paths, all based on different actions she could have taken in her past.
The library is filled with many, many different books, all leading to a different outcome. Nora gets the chance to be a rock star, an explorer, a scientist, a mother… the possibilities are endless! Matt Haig is a genius and Carey Mulligan is the perfect Nora. I can’t imagine experiencing this magical journey any other way!
Nora’s many different encounters are sometimes thrilling and funny, often painful, and she must quickly learn in each different life who’s who and what each person means to her, in that particular life. Nora feels her life was filled with regrets and she is desperate to find the “perfect” life for her.
“But it is not lives we regret not living that are the real problem. It is the regret itself. It’s the regret that makes us shrivel and wither and feel like our own and other people’s worst enemy.”
Nora’s different lives defy explanation so that is why I am shelving this is a science fiction. Time-traveling books are my jam but I’m not actually a reader of a lot of fantasy books! I just love the exploration of alternate timelines and the “what-ifs” of each of Nora’s decisions in her past. The author does a magnificent exploration of family, love, friendship and acceptance. Mrs. Elm is always there for Nora, patiently explaining the purpose of the Midnight Library and helping Nora make her choices.
“You don’t exist because of the library; this library exists because of you.”
This is a stunning audiobook and Matt Haig is a new favorite author. This story has a beautiful ending and I loved Nora’s magnificent journey!
“The only way to learn is to live”