Review: The Midnight LibraryTitle: The Midnight Library
Author: Matt Haig
Genre(s): Fantasy
Pages: 304 (Hardcover)
Source: Library
For: Book Club
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Goodreads Synopsis

Between life and death there is a library, and within that library, the shelves go on forever. Every book provides a chance to try another life you could have lived. To see how things would be if you had made other choices... Would you have done anything different if you had the chance to undo your regrets?

My Thoughts

THE MIDNIGHT LIBRARY was my IRL book club’s pick for June. I was really excited to read it as I’ve heard a lot of great things. After reading it, I can tell you that I wasn’t disappointed and I hope I can do it justice with my spoiler-free review.

I honestly didn’t know what to expect while reading THE MIDNIGHT LIBRARY. It ended up being one of the most profound reading experiences I’ve ever had. It spoke to me like no other book has. I felt seen as someone who has struggled with severe depression, suicidal ideation, and crippling regret for most of my adult life.

But there is no life where you can be in a state of sheer happiness for ever. And imagining there is just breeds more unhappiness in the life you’re in.

I understood Nora, all the emotions she felt, especially the loneliness and despair. I understood her suicidal ideation and urges. AND, even when she didn’t, I knew her depression and loneliness were lying to her–telling her she wasn’t needed, no one wanted her around, she let everyone down, or they’d all be better off without her.

I’m convinced that Nora’s journey through THE MIDNIGHT LIBRARY was the only way she could’ve learned what and come to the conclusions she did. After all, one of the lessons the librarian wanted her to realize was, “The only way to learn is to live.”

Haig beautifully illustrates what Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) did in helping me want to build a life worth living. Its message that it’s not too late to start living life is one I think we all need to be reminded of once in a while.

Have you read THE MIDNIGHT LIBRARY? If so, what did you think?

About Jenni Elyse


Hi, I'm Jenni. I'm an eclectic reader and I mostly read fiction. I favor fantasy, science fiction, historical fiction, mystery, thrillers, and romance. The more kissing the better!
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12 replies
  1. Margaret
    Margaret says:

    We’ve talked about reading in Book Club; it sounds like a great discussion book. I love books where there are alternate lives like “Life After Life.”

    Reply
    • Jenni Elyse
      Jenni Elyse says:

      I’m looking forward to my book club’s discussion on this book. It’ll be interesting to see what everyone thinks of it. I definitely think it’ll bring a lot of discussion, which is nice for a book club book.

      Yes, I think books that showcase alternative lives are fun too. I didn’t like LIFE AFTER LIFE as much because I felt it was too repetitive and it didn’t deliver on the Hitler aspect like it promised me it would, lol. I did, however, really enjoy DARK MATTER by Blake Crouch. It was more of a sci-fi thriller, though, that discussed string theory and multiverses which I thought was fun.

      Reply
  2. Wendy
    Wendy says:

    I loved The Midnight Library and it’s a book I still think about all the time. The lessons inside are very profound. I’m so glad you loved it too.

    Reply
    • Jenni Elyse
      Jenni Elyse says:

      Yes, I think it will be a book I think about all the time as well. I don’t think it will ever leave me. I told my therapist about it today. I hope he likes it as much as we did. 🙂

      Reply
  3. Lark
    Lark says:

    I have read this one and I really liked it. I thought Nora’s journey back to her true self was both poignant and hopeful and ultimately rewarding. But then, I’m a fan of Matt Haig. I’ve loved all the books of his that I’ve read. 🙂

    Reply
    • Jenni Elyse
      Jenni Elyse says:

      This is the first book I’ve read by Haig. I look forward to reading more. 🙂 And, yes, I agree with Nora’s journey back to her true self. It was very profound.

      Reply
  4. Elyse
    Elyse says:

    I also loved this one!!! I listened to it but then I also bought the hardcover because it was so good and I want to be able to experience it in a different way, savor it more. So good!! It was my first Matt Haig book.

    Reply
    • Jenni Elyse
      Jenni Elyse says:

      I’ve heard the audio book is fantastic. I might get it and listen to it. I’m going to buy the hard cover as well, though. I checked it out from the library to read it, but I’d like my own copy so I can read it whenever I need a reminder to keep going. 🙂

      Reply
  5. Suey
    Suey says:

    I’m glad you liked it. I thought about you a lot while reading and hoped you would enjoying it! Lots of stuff hit home to me too… hopefully I can remember them for book club, lol!

    Reply
    • Jenni Elyse
      Jenni Elyse says:

      I’m glad you liked it too. And, yes, remembering why it was such a profound experience and all of the great quotes is going to be the tricky part of our discussion. After I finished it, I told my therapist about it. I think he’ll enjoy it too.

      Reply

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