by Matt Haig
Narrator: Carey Mulligan
Length: 8 hours and 50 minutes
Purchase*: Amazon | Audible *affiliate
Narration: 5 cups Speed: 1.4x
"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?"
A dazzling novel about all the choices that go into a life well lived, from the internationally best-selling author of Reasons to Stay Alive and How to Stop Time.
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.
As many of you know a book with a library speaks to me. When presented with a chance to review The Midnight Library by Matt Haig, narrated by Carey Mulligan, I grabbed my earbuds and dove in.
What transpired was a magical story about Nora Seed. Nora’s life hasn’t quite turned out the way she expected, and a series of events lead to suicide. When she awakens, she finds herself in a library with rows and rows of books. Mrs. Elm, her school librarian and mentor the librarian .
The tale that unfolds is magical, insightful, and pure genius. If you are a fool for It’s A Wonderful Life and watch it every Christmas like me, you will love Haig’s meaningful tale.
The library books contain all of Nora’s alternate lives. Every decision made is a new version of a life Nora would have lived. With Mrs. Elm’s guidance, Nora opens books and dives into these alternate life. Sort of trying them on for size. This isn’t always easy particularly because Nora remembers her “root life” but knows nothing of these new lives.
Do you remember wanting to grow up to be a doctor, the first woman on the moon, an explorer who travels Antarctica? Well, Nora get’s to explore all of hers. She owns a pub, becomes a gold medalist, a rock star, a philosopher, a traveler, a glaciologist, wife and mother. Each has its pros and cons. For example, in some timelines her best friend has died or her brother is ill.
Through the books, Nora gains knowledge and appreciation for the seemly pointless life she had. I loved Haig’s writing. His writing is poignant, empathetic and inspiring. It is as if he’s walked in these character’s footsteps.
Carey Mulligan narrates and was the perfect pick for Nora’s perspective. The story flowed wonderfully and she enhanced an already brilliant story through inflection, pacing and tone.
Whether you listen or read, I hope you add The Midnight Library to your collection. It would also make the perfect holiday gift for everyone on your list.
And now, if you’ll excuse me, I want to read/listen to all of his books.
Reading this book contributed to these challenges: