A Place to Read

My Review of The Midnight Library by Matt Haig.

This week I have been delving into the latest offering from Matt Haig, The Midnight Library.

The Midnight Library, Matt Haig, front cover.
Publisher: Canongate Books Ltd 
ISBN: 9781838852870 
Number of pages: 304 
Dimensions: 220 x 162 mm 
Hardback signed edition £16.99 at Waterstones


Between life and death there is a library.

When Nora Seed finds herself in the Midnight Library, she has a chance to make things right. Up until now, her life has been full of misery and regret. She feels she has let everyone down, including herself. But things are about to change.The books in the Midnight Library enable Nora to live as if she had done things differently. With the help of an old friend, she can now undo every one of her regrets as she tries to work out her perfect life. But things aren’t always what she imagined they’d be, and soon her choices place the library and herself in extreme danger. Before time runs out, she must answer the ultimate question: what is the best way to live?


I’ve been waiting for this book as I’m a big fan of Matt Haig. (I will list my other reviews below.) I was really excited to purchase a signed first edition copy.

inside cover of book including signature and image of library card.
Inside cover and signed page of book

I love the image of an old fashioned library ticket on the inside. The book is already overdue!

Of course, as a former librarian, I couldn’t wait to delve into this story, but it had other attractions too. Matt Haig writes such touching stories which really make you take stock of your life and realise what you have.

Many years ago I discovered Paulo Coelho and after enjoying The Alchemist I moved on to Veronika Decides to Die. The book has stuck with me for a long time because it’s main premise being a young woman who decides to take her own life simply because she cannot understand why life is worth living. Sometimes even when you have everything it may not be enough.

The Midnight Library is about a woman, a little older than Coelho’s character, who feels she has made all the wrong decisions in life and is full of regret. So much so, that she decides to die. This is the main difference between the two. Full of regret, or not, life can still be too mystifying for a person to carry on living it. This is what depression can be like, it doesn’t really care what you do, or don’t, have.

I found the Midnight Library a bit of a strange in-between world, maybe a little less complex than some I’ve encountered in other novels. Quite simply, Nora, the main character, gets to work on her regrets and see if things would have turned out better, or worse. She does this by choosing the book of her life that could have been.

What do we do when we have exhausted all paths though. Is it time to rest forever, or would we have learned too much? Will Nora die, is she dead already? Can you add one more regret to your book by regretting how it all ended.

I found the story a real page turner and couldn’t wait to read what would happen to Nora next.

If there is one thing I will take from this book it’s that we will always have regrets, but not all of them are as bad as we think.

Jo has some very interesting thoughts to share on The Midnight Library over on Slummy Single Mummy

Reasons To Stay Alive and The Humans – Matt Haig

The Radleys and How to Stop Time – Matt Haig

To Be a Cat – Matt Haig

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6 thoughts on “My Review of The Midnight Library by Matt Haig.”

  1. I’ve not come across this one until now, it sounds like an interesting read. I remember the old fashioned library ticket’s too. Very nostalgic! xx

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