TW: depression, suicide, anxiety
The Midnight Library begins by following the final day of Nora Seed’s life. After taking her own life, Nora finds herself in The Midnight Library where Mrs Elm explains that she is between life and death. The library gives Nora the chance to try out books on the shelves, each one containing a possible life that she could have lived had even one tiny thing been different. But does Nora want a life? And if so, which one should she choose?
Before reading this novel, I had seen a few quotes from it and there are some great ones in there, especially regarding mental health. Having read one of Haig’s non-fiction books, I knew that he could talk openly and honestly about mental health and that is clear from this novel and this made me connect more closely with the narrative.
The concept of this novel is inventive and imaginative and I loved that. I think that we all wonder ‘what if’ or think about the many possibilities that we could take, or could have taken in the past. This novel takes that idea and explores it well.
I found that I connected with Nora quickly and she was an interesting and well-rounded character that I really liked. This novel felt like going on a personal journey with Nora and her character is what stands out to me when I think back to the novel.
The way in which Haig uses the character of Mrs Elm is clever and having her as a librarian within the library to be Nora’s guide created an extra relationship that I liked to see.
Exploring Nora’s many lives felt like an adventure and although there were emotional and deeper elements to this book, it was also fun to get lost in Nora’s potential lives.
Overall, I really enjoyed this book; I was invested in Nora’s journey, connected with the book, and felt the emotion of the narrative. The premise is clever, and the emotion in this novel is honest and real. If you have not yet read it, I recommend it.