1st Mar 2021
It’s not often a book touches me enough to want to write a review of it. I may well recommend it to another or share some particularly interesting insights from it but to actually write a review is a rare occurrence for me.
But, The Midnight Library is a rare book. It’s a book that lifts. A book that soothes. A book that makes time stand still. It’s a book you both want to finish instantly whilst simultaneously making it last as long as possible. It’s a book for us all, no matter what your struggles. It’s a book that heals.
The Midnight Library is the story of Nora Seed. We join Nora at a moment in her life where she can no longer see a way forward. And so, she finds herself in ‘The Midnight Library’, a place between life and death. Within that library are the books containing all the stories of the lives you could have lived dependent on the choices you made. We all wonder what direction our lives could have taken under other circumstances, so if you had the chance to see wouldn’t you be curious about the paths your life could have taken?
Haig cleverly focuses on this issue which so many of us return to at times of sadness, or of struggle, the question of ‘what if?’ But, as he so adeptly highlights:
‘…..we spend so much time wishing our lives were different, comparing ourselves to other people and to other versions of ourselves, when really most lives contain degrees of good and degrees of bad.’
And this is what makes this book so unique. It allows us to glimpse an insight into what our own other lives choices could have looked liked whilst still remaining the voyeur in the tale.
It is both a work of fiction and a self- help book rolled into one. For those feeling alone, for those feeling they have failed, for those feeling unloved or just wishing they could have done things differently. This book is for you. And, after all, who hasn’t felt at least one of those emotions? Therefore, this book is one for us all. Written with the empathy of someone who has lived through it himself, Haig is able to authentically highlight to the reader the value we should all be placing in ourselves.
‘Aim to be you. Aim to look and act and think like you. Aim to be the truest version of you. Embrace that you-ness. Endorse it. Love it. Work hard at it. And don’t give a second thought when people mock it or ridicule it. Most gossip is envy in disguise.’
And so, for a book to inspire, to help you through a low point or just to motivate you to move forward, this book is entirely worth a read.
Because as Haig himself states ‘…even if you were a pawn – maybe we all are – then you should remember that a pawn is the most magical piece of all. It might look small and ordinary but it isn’t. Because a pawn is never just a pawn. A pawn is a queen-in-waiting. All you need to do is find a way to keep moving forward.”
Lucy Howard, BulliesOut Digital Communications Officer
The Midnight Library by Matt Haig
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