“The Midnight Library” review

Adeline Gruen, Memorial Staff Writer

Recently, bestselling author Matt Haig (“Notes on A Nervous Planet”) wrote the novel “The Midnight Library”, released to the public on Sept. 29.

The book starts out with 35-year-old Nora Seed losing her job and cat. As the day continues on Seed becomes more depressed and eventually decided to take her life. After Seed dies of an overdose, she is transported to the Midnight Library. There she meets the librarian, Mrs. Elm, who shows her the different lives she could have lived. She enters the lives by choosing a regret that she wished she could have undone. She goes through many different lives, some she is an Olympian and others a rockstar.

Throughout the whole book, Seed struggles with feelings that she has completely messed up her life with all the decisions that she made. While each life is similar in many aspects, like her struggle with mental health, they vary in many different ways. In some, she is married others single, sometimes she has kids others she doesn’t. Eventually, she realizes the lives aren’t perfect, becomes dissatisfied and is transported back to the library. The only problem is, if she loses her will to live, the library will go crumbling down and she will die in her “root” life, the life that she overdosed in.

“The Midnight Library” covers many important issues such as suicide and depression. Despite its dark and serious themes, Haig makes the book enjoyable and even a bit lighthearted at times. As Seed goes through each life she often becomes confused and has to figure out different hilarious ways to find out information about herself, in that world. 

Haig has written about mental illnesses before in his memoir, “Reasons to Stay Alive,” about his personal struggles with mental health and depression. He also often portrays many different family dynamics in his books.

While most believe that “The Midnight Library” is targeted at adults, it is still a worthwhile read for teenagers. This book is inspiring and will change how people think about life and how each decision one makes affects not only their life, but the lives of those around them as well.

Throughout the story, I fell further in love with Seed as she finds out more about herself and what she is really wanting to receive from her life. 

Contact Adeline Gruen at [email protected]