The Midnight Library is a wonderfully written tale by Matt Haig that depicts the self-discovery journey of the protagonist, Nora Seed. The novel begins with Nora’s innermost thoughts and portrays her dissatisfaction with her life. Her past decisions and present consequences leave her in the depths of despair and regret, so much that she chooses to end her life. However, instead of progressing to the afterlife, she finds herself in The Midnight Library, a place between life and death, where she has the ability to travel and live through many versions of her life in a parallel universe; lives where she made different decisions and had different outcomes than her current one, simply by opening a volume situated in one of the shelves of the library. As she goes through her different lives, she begins to discover herself and learn about where her true passions lie, and becomes more grateful for the people surrounding her.
Haig’s novel is very inspiring and thought-provoking. While the concept of traveling to different parallel universes may be complex, the narrative of the story follows a relatively simple path and focuses on the protagonist’s experience with life and her individual conscience. The author’s illustration of Nora’s deepest thoughts and desires creates an intimate and engaging ambiance for the readers. The most notable aspect of the novel is that his characters are extremely relatable. They aren’t perfect; they have their own flaws, and struggle with human nature and mentality, perhaps mirroring the own struggles of the reader.
Readers may find themselves reflecting on their own lives and experiences along Nora’s adventure: what past decisions and regrets they may have, imagining themselves in their own library, living through different possibilities. Like Nora Seed, they may yet have to unlock their potential through their own Midnight Library, of which they only have to realize through this novel. On a numerical scale, this book should undoubtedly be rated as a 5/5.