Book Review: The Midnight Library by Matt Haig


The story began with a woman decidedly wanting to end her life. But before she makes the most terrible choice of her life, we see how it was easy for her to arrive to her incredibly difficult decision. Her cat dying out in the street, her estrangement from her brother...her losing her job. She has no prospects and no future. She hasn't recovered from her father's death and everyday it's getting harder and harder to choose to stay in a world where no one would miss her presence. 

So at midnight, she swallowed most of her pills and woke up in...a library. 

The Library is not your usual library. It serves one patron at a time, and it houses books and books about your life. Your choices, your mistakes. In a way, it's a means for a person to see a life they'd not chosen while they were living. A second chance, if you will. Nora, however, was reluctant at first. After all, she chose to die and not to be reminded of what could've beens. The Librarian is a person she used to know in her past life. When she was a young child, she spent most of her life in the company of books and the library where her only friend was the librarian. Nora's young life and through her adulthood, she was to all intents and purposes, a loner. The author showed the kind of debilitating loneliness Nora suffered through all her life, when even her brother barely spoke with her. So when she ended her life, the choice was very easy for her, indeed. 

If there's one thing I'd learned about this book, is that The Midnight Library does not exist, however much we wish we could have a do over for every stupid mistakes we've made. Life isn't about second chances, sometimes. So you take that leap and hope that the cliff is worth it and we could land on our own two feet without dying. 

Matt Haig has a penchant for writing about mental illness and it's because he is a sufferer himself. He's a great proponent for mental health issues and uses his platform to talk about it. In here, we see Nora's dark days and depressive state. We see her make the most difficult choice because life made it easy for her to do so. Honestly? I was pretty weepy as I was reading how incredibly alone she felt. And that while the world was revolving, she's stuck with no end in sight. I could not fault her for thinking what else is there to live for?

The Midnight Library is an incredibly important story. It's a wrinkle-free plot line where the only conflict is wondering which 'book of life' Nora was choosing. It imparts a lesson in kindness for people who suffers daily and are very adept in hiding all their hurts and feelings of loneliness. 


Comments

  1. It looks different and intriguing. It's always nice to have a book like that and the cover is pretty too

    ReplyDelete
  2. This is on my wish list because last time I drop by the bookstore, they have it out of stock. That's interesting about Matt Haig. Probably means he may at some points be writing from experience.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I loved the idea behind this book but, I wasn't entirely happy with the execution.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I listened to the audiobook and completely loved it. Lovely review!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Wow, this sounds like a deep read. I'm adding this to my TBR list. Thanks so much for bringing it to my attention, Joy! I love reading your reviews, even for books that aren't what I would normally read. You have a way with words!

    ReplyDelete
  6. I would not want to read a book that tells me that if I had chosen that then I would be Queen of the world! Lol

    ReplyDelete
  7. I’ve never read a Matt Haig book but this one has been popping up everywhere, great review!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Oh I've heard some good things about this! I'm so glad you liked it too. I want it now!!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  9. This sounds really interesting, but emotional too. Sounds like a memorable read.

    ReplyDelete
  10. I'm sure I'd be a complete mess reading this! Just hearing about her cat dying outside kills me! Glad it ended up being a win for you. :)

    ReplyDelete
  11. I have seen this book all over the place but this is the first review that I have read. I had no idea what this book was about before but it sounds like a really powerful story.

    ReplyDelete
  12. I haven't read a lot by Matt Haig but this book catches my eye. I do want to read this one.

    ReplyDelete
  13. I really like the premise of this novel, but the execution left a lot to be desired for me. I still find the whole concept intriguing, though. And you're right - Haig deals with mental illness in a thoughtful, illuminating way, which makes sense if he, himself, is a sufferer.

    ReplyDelete
  14. I really liked this one and I am glad you enjoyed it too. I thought it was really moving and I still think about it!

    ReplyDelete
  15. I'm actually listening to this one right now. I'm about 20% into the audiobook, which has been really great so far. I'm still sort of hung up on Voltaire though. The concept of The Midnight Library is really great, and I love how the author has been portraying her depression. We don't often get to see characters that struggle with mental illness, or authors who write from experience.

    Lindsi @ Do You Dog-ear? 💬

    ReplyDelete
  16. I have heard a lot about this book. I have read some of Matt Haig's nonfiction on mental health but never any of his fiction works which distinctly focus on it like this. It sounds like I need to get to this one.

    ReplyDelete
  17. I've read Matt Haig's MG, but this sounds very different---I'll have to check it out.

    Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Hoarders, Books Edition [11]: Thrifting Ain't Easy

Book Review: Indians on Vacation by Thomas King

April 2021 Rewind