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A popular fantasy fiction novel by the award winning Matt Haig. ‘The Midnight Library', now in paperback, transports the reader into a library where young Nora Seed is on the brink of death, but given the chance to undo her regrets and live out other lives.

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Den scores




368 pages

'The Midnight Library’ is a fantasy fiction novel by the award winning Matt Haig. This popular read has been a No 1 bestseller for some time and as we reunite and embrace family and friends, this could be the essential Missed Opportunity choice for your book club.

On the brink of death, young Nora Seed is given a life-line by her childhood librarian, Mrs Elm, who in this modern fantasy presents a library of lives and outcomes.

‘Between life and death there is a library’, she said. ‘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?’.

Although at the start the novel finds Nora in a very dark place, the Midnight Library offers her the chance to imagine her life if she had pursued a road ‘less travelled’. A rock star, an Olympian swimmer, a country publican, a glaciologist.

By exploring ‘the what ifs and the whys’ ‘The Midnight Library’ tackles some of the issues around depression and mental health. As an author whose early work includes children’s fiction, Haig harnesses his wonderful storytelling skills along with his own experiences of fighting anxiety in this life-affirming novel. He tells us it’s okay to ‘howl’ and expresses the upside of having no regrets. His writing style is comforting so whether you are feeling fragile or caring for those who have suffered in the pandemic you are not alone and this novel provides some accessible coping strategies.

Although there were conflicting opinions on the some of the situations and the characters in the Den, overall we were impressed with the conversations the book elicited. As well as being a quick and easy read, ‘The Midnight Library’ is guaranteed to alight your book club discussions! Hopefully it will be a great way to bring you all back together and looking forward!

From this popular and best-selling author of ‘How to Stop Time’, the Den also enjoyed and reviewed ‘The Humans’ (see Library).

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