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Book Review - 'The Midnight Library' By Matt Haig

First, I will say, this is one of the best books I have read in a long time. I loved it. The blurb reads;

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?

In this story, we meet Nora. She is severely depressed and doesn’t see the point of living. She ends up in a very dark place and finds herself somewhere between life and death in The Midnight Library. The school librarian from her childhood, Mrs Elm, is there to help guide her through the magical process.

The books in the library go on forever. She is shown 'The Book of Regrets'. The book summarises all of her deepest fears and provides her the prompt she needs to select the first life she wants to explore. Nora has many regrets and the books in the library offer her the chance to try out infinite possible lives she could have lived, had she made different choices.

Every book and every life let her see the person she could have been in that life. What would her life have been had she not given up swimming? Had she married her jilted fiancé? Or kept the band together?

It’s a premise that’s been written many times before. Think 'A Christmas Carol', or 'Sliding Doors'. The author writes it in a way that it seems like a fresh idea.

Mrs. Elm warns her that any disappointment with the new life selected will send her right back to the library. Nora’s journey includes going from Olympic swimming champion to famous rock star. From an acclaimed life as a glaciologist to a lowly paid job in Australia. Can she discover what will make her truly happy and bring her lasting fulfillment before the library disappears... for good?

The book is written empathetically and the author draws on his own personal struggles with mental health. The book is thought provoking and makes us appreciate the life we have. It’s a short, easy-to-read book, but truly packs an emotional punch.

It’s an interesting concept, and the author tackles it extremely well. This is one of those books that you ponder for a few days after finishing it, thinking about the possibilities and implications of your life decisions. This book will stay with me for a long time. There are so many life lessons intertwined throughout the pages. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and highly recommend it. I give it ***** stars.

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