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books and reading

The Midnight Library

Title: The Midnight Library

Author: Matt Haig

Genre: post-apocalyptic time travel/science fiction

Everyone has been talking about this book. Seems like I can’t escape the buzz. And, like always, I knew nothing about it when I started reading. I didn’t even know what genre it was. Turns out, it was a book right up my alley. Fantastical, but not really fantasy. Great characters, interesting plot, well-written. Who could ask for more?

From Goodreads: 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?

Somewhere out beyond the edge of the universe there is a library that contains an infinite number of books, each one the story of another reality. One tells the story of your life as it is, along with another book for the other life you could have lived if you had made a different choice at any point in your life. While we all wonder how our lives might have been, what if you had the chance to go to the library and see for yourself? Would any of these other lives truly be better?

In The Midnight Library, Matt Haig’s enchanting new novel, Nora Seed finds herself faced with this decision. Faced with the possibility of changing her life for a new one, following a different career, undoing old breakups, realizing her dreams of becoming a glaciologist; she must search within herself as she travels through the Midnight Library to decide what is truly fulfilling in life, and what makes it worth living in the first place.

What was really great about this was that Haig kept the plot fresh. It isn’t just about Nora living in various lives, one after another, until they blur together for her and for the reader. She definitely visits a few lives that you spend some time in, but various other events keep the plot from getting stagnant. Nora, even though she was struggling when we meet her, becomes much more dynamic as the book goes on. You feel her pain in the beginning, and you really root for her to “find” the life that’s perfect for her. I read this one in just a couple days. I really couldn’t wait to see which life Nora found for herself.