Rating: 4.5 / 5
THE MIDNIGHT LIBRARY by Matt Haig was an adult Once Upon a Book Club book box pick and I managed to squeeze it into my November reading when I needed a good change of pace book. This wasn’t a book that had been on my radar prior to hearing it would be in the box, but then I started to see fantastic reviews everywhere so was glad to receive my copy!
THE MIDNIGHT LIBRARY begins on a sad note. Nora is in a rough place in life with fractured relationships, an unfulfilling career and nothing she feels is really worth living for. Looking back at her life she has many regrets, places where she might have made a different choice to make things go right. One night she makes a choice which sends her to the Midnight Library
Nora meets an old friend in the library who explains the process. She now has the opportunity to try out her alternate lives, the one where she became a rock star and the one where she stayed together with her boyfriend. There are countless lives she might have lived if her decisions had been even slightly different. If she finds the path that would leave her fulfilled, she can settle in and live out her life.
Trigger warnings for suicide, drug abuse.
This book had me hooked from the beginning. The idea of alternate life paths and multiple universes is one that really intrigues me in books and this was a different way of looking at that concept. I liked the system that the author developed as there were limitations on the alternate lives Nora might have taken, but still limitless possibilities that could be explored. Nora of course finds that the grass isn’t always greener on the other side and some alternate lives are even worse than her present one.
Nora was a character who made some bad decisions, but still one that I could root for as her pain in losing people and things that she loved was very believable. With this type of story I do worry sometimes if things will feel repetitive, but the author did a good job of diversifying the lives Nora explored, while still giving them a believable origin story in Nora’s life.
I have not read the author’s previous work, but I found the writing very easy to settle into and will definitely be reading more in the future!
I am glad that Once Upon a Book Club put this one on my reading list and I really enjoyed the entire box experience for this one! If you like family dramas, this is one that I would recommend. Also, if you are interested in subscribing to the box, DGREADS10 will give you 10% off your first order!