The Midnight Library


Review of “The Midnight Library” by Matt Haig, by our colleague Theresa.

This novel approaches the topic of suicide and the complete loss of the will to live in a highly unique and imaginative manner.
The central character, thirty four year old Nora, has reached a very low point in her life and has simply lost the will to go on. After attempting suicide she finds herself in The Midnight Library, a vast space filled with books which lies between life and death. Here she meets the friendly librarian from her school library who allows her to try out various lives she could have lived. Each book in the library represents a different life. While experimenting with these various lives, Nora gains a number of profound insights about herself and life in general. At the end of the novel, Nora emerges from this experience in the library with renewed hope and a strong will to live which rests solidly on the knowledge that the ability of human beings to achieve happiness and contentment in life depends on the development and maintenance of loving, kind and respectful relationships with themselves and with those around them.
The author’s playful love of language is evident throughout the novel as is his passionate interest in the human condition.