How often do we regret not having done something and wondering where our life would have headed if we had chosen differently? And what if all those lives with the different choices were stacked up on top of each other and we could access them to see how they had turned out? Matt Haig‘s The Midnight Library is all about visiting those lives where the choice had been different.
Nora Seed, who had studied philosophy at university but is working at a music store, in her thirties has reached a stage in her life where she no longer sees a point to it. One night on the cusp between life and death she arrives at the Midnight Library where time stands still and all the books are the lives she could have led if she had made different choices at each stage. Populated only by the librarian, a mysterious figure whose conversations with Nora gradually reveal to her what the library is all about as she confronts the regrets she has about her life.
This is a book to be read by everyone who has ever said ‘what if’, which is basically, well, everyone. A melding of physics and philosophy, the concept of parallel universes/dimensions and parallel lives, but woven through a simple story of human regrets and wondering. Which, when one comes to think of it, is really not that simple but therein lies the beauty of Haig’s writing because ultimately the book is eminently readable. After completing it we have recommended it to everyone we know and it has become one of our favourite gifting books. These days if someone is agonising over choices that they have to make, we tell them to read The Midnight Library. A book to make the reader sit and think and which provides a perspective that one might not necessarily have thought of. Lovely.