The Midnight Library – A Book to Read in a Single Day

Minds can’t see what they can’t handle. This quote really spoke to me.

The Midnight Library by Matt Haig

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

It has been a long time since I began and finished a book on the same day. This is the book that did it. The premise of the book is, in essence, quite simple – what if you were given the gift to undo some of your regrets in life to see what would happen to the trajectory of your life? And if you could experience all of those ‘what ifs?’ which life would you actually choose to live.

There was a lot to like in this book, as the main character, Nora, travels her own reality of the multiverse theory. (Actually, with this, and the reference to Shrödinger’s cat, I did wonder if Matt Haig had spent far too much time watching The Big Bang Theory). One of the greatest joys of the book, however, is the characterisation of Nora. I was drawn to her, and her despair, her crushing sense of isolation and loneliness, almost from the outset, and I really cared about what happened to her, becoming more and more invested in the choices she was making, as each choice seemed to bring her closer and closer to the realisation of what was the most important thing to her.

I also loved Mrs Elm, the steady and wise librarian manning the desk of the midnight library. She was a tribute to librarians everywhere, because she reminded us just how much of an impact a librarian can have in someone’s life. Librarians are awesome.

Life-affirming, and a fantastic story, the book was a perfect way to spend a lazy day reading in the garden on a beautiful sunny day. Indeed, my only real criticism of the book is the little dig the author had at maltipoos as a breed of dog (Ewan did not want a maltipoo). There is, for the record, nothing wrong with maltipoos. I have a maltipoo, and she is to me what Volts was to Nora.

For me, the joy of the book lies in Nora’s discovery of what her best life is for her – and the knowledge that she is complete within herself, and that all of those regrets weaved into the fabric of her life are part of what makes her uniquely her, even if, when it comes to the end, nobody knows how their own ending is going to play out. This book is a number one bestseller. Despite the scepticism I have seen in some of the reviews, I think that the number one spot is an honour that this book richly deserves.

View all my reviews

My maltipoo Brontë keeping me company as I finished off the book.

Published by Deborah Siddoway

Dickens enthusiast, book lover, wine drinker, writer, lover of all things Victorian, and happily divorced mother of two lovely (and very tall) boys.

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