Alexandra's Books

The Midnight Library by Matt Haig

July 24, 2021

The Midnight Library

This book hit me so hard. I’d been excited to read it for weeks, and it arrived the day after I found out that a much loved family member had died by suicide.

There was something so poignant and touching about Nora’s whole story, which just wouldn’t let me go. Weeks after finishing it, I still find myself thinking about some of the lessons I learnt in the few days it took me to read it. Part of me really wishes I could forget the whole story and read it for the first time all over again. 🌻

I would say, though, that I only found this book so good because of the timing.

The book is based on the many worlds theory - where at every decision or choice, an entire alternate universe is born - I think this is a fascinating basis for a novel, with a lot of potential. If you’ve never heard of the many worlds theory before, here’s a quote from the book that might help to wrap your head around it:

“Every life contains many millions of decisions,” says Mrs. Elm. “Some big, some small. But every time one decision is taken over another, the outcomes differ. An irreversible variation occurs, which in turn leads to further variations. These books are portals to all the lives you could be living.”

I loved the way that Haig uses a library as a method to explore each of the various parallel universes tucked away in each book. And I loved the message that the story ended with.

Unfortunately, if there’s one thing that I think Matt Haig did poorly in The Midnight Library, it’s the main character. Usually, a protaganist knows what they want. But Nora doesn’t seem to have any clue what she wants, and bumbles through a lot of the many universes with no clue what she’s looking for in these lives. It felt extremely dissatisfying, and made her a very difficult main character to relate to.

On the whole, this was a solid 4 stars. But the message from this book will stick with me for a lot longer than most 4 star books - purely because of when I read it, and how I could relate the story to my own life.


Written by Alexandra

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