The Midnight Library by Matt Haig (Bookies Book Club Read)

What if you had a chance to go back and take the road not taken… what if there was a place that contained every story of you that was not written…
but it can be.

Nora Seed is not a happy person. Her choices have included a dead end job, a a long term going nowhere relationship, and her friendships have gone to the wayside. Nora feels she has let everyone around her down including herself.
Then she finds herself in the Midnight Library. The library holds every moment of her life, endless shelves of books of her story she left unwritten. The no, that could have been a yes, the left turn as opposed to a right.. the guy who under the right circumstances could have been “THE GUY” if only she had made that choice….
Now Nora is given the opportunity to visit the roads not taken. Each book holds a different version of herself and Nora has been given the rare opportunity to choose different life – knowing that once she moves to a different book – there is no going back.

This book was selected as our January read for my book club. It is also the book I chose as my first book of the year, not because it was was the book club book, but because it genuinely had me at the title and the synopsis.

You may recall my love for the book Summerhouse by Jude Deveroux. I reviewed in here in 2008, and again in 2020. In fact, Summerhouse was my first book of 2020. What I love about that book is this story of four friends who have a chance to go back to take the road not traveled. I absolutely loved this story of second chances and the opportunity for a different life outcome. It is also one of my favorite all time book discussions because I feel it was one of the first times our book club really went deep into a personal level and shared some deep what ifs.

I was really really really hoping this book was going to be like that.
And honestly – perhaps here in lies the rub.

Nora never really reached a point where I was rooting for her. The stories within the story are short and some extremely so where you don’t really get a feel for what she is experiencing because in a flash she has moved on. Other stories have a few more pages to them and I was uncertain why and then story I hope she chooses… well…

I am writing this portion of my review about 15 minutes before my book club will meet VIA ZOOM. I am doing so intentionally as I want to put my feelings down before they chime in. For myself – I would rate this an average read, it never became the page turner I hoped it would be, but it also wasn’t like I didn’t want to finish.

Bookies Book Club Thoughts on The Midnight Library:

The Bookies met tonight to discuss The Midnight Library. We had a good discussion around the “road not traveled” theme as well as choices we would make. A few of the girls shared points in their life that a decision was made that led them to where they are now (job, partner, Minnesota…) as well as a time when a choice was given but not taken that could have changed everything.
The resounding message was that our root lives (what the book calls our current life), is exactly where we should be. Overall Bookie rating: 3 out of 5. Average read.

Over all take away – A good message. Could have gone deeper. Love the term root life

8 thoughts on “The Midnight Library by Matt Haig (Bookies Book Club Read)

  1. There’s been a LOT of press around this book. I’ve got it in my wish list (along with John Avalon’s “Washington’s Farewell”). Unfortunately, much hyped books like “How to be an Anti-Racist”, “American Dirt”, “the Immortalists” and “The Other Mother” have been such disappointments, I’m going to wait

  2. I have been seeing this book everywhere…and while the themes call to me, I also believe that our current life is where we should be: a good conclusion. Especially since we can’t change the past!

    I also loved Summerhouse!

    1. I had that too. It didn’t hold me enough to keep wanting to pick it up, instead, I would put it down and not pick it up for days. The beginning was kind of confusing what was happening and then it felt smoother in the middle and end but still did not hit a home run with me.

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