Suzanne Leyden, qualified nutrition, health and wellness coach and owner of The WellNow Co reviews Matt Haig's The Midnight Library.
As far as bestsellers go, it's fair to say The Midnight Library was an instant success when it was published in February of this year. Written by Matt Haig, an already renowned and accomplished writer, this runaway, international bestseller was number one on the Sunday Times bestseller list and was an instant New York Times bestseller.
Sensitively written about Nora, a woman in her mid 30s whose life was not going well. At midnight on her last day on earth she gets transported to a library where she can relive regrets and see through parallel universes how her life may have turned out had she made different choices. It’s a tightly woven story of self-reflection, and working out living life the best way.
30 weeks after US publication The Midnight Library and it's now climbed to be number one of the Indie Bestseller List. Meaning it is the top selling hardback novel across independent bookstores in America. I am very happy about this and can't wait to tour indie bookstores again.— Matt Haig (@matthaig1) June 24, 2021
Not wanting to give much away, this book touches on many important themes that have possibly come to the fore in countless people’s lives particularly over the last year thanks to the pandemic. That’s not to say this book has anything to do with the pandemic at all. However, the nature of looking at how we live our lives has clearly struck a chord. And Matt writes it in such a naturally easy flow that it’s hard to put down.
The many themes he touches on are skillfully intertwined into this beautiful novel. And while Nora’s life may not relate directly to yours or your life stage, the themes are universal, and very often overlooked. This is a chance for Nora to experience self-exploration and discovery. To look at her mindset, overcome fear, realise she has control over many of her choices and to value her true self.
The overriding message is one of being true to yourself, kind to yourself and living the life you want to live for yourself. It’s a book that will stick in my head for a long time to come.
While I wouldn’t describe this book in the "self-development" category, fiction is a really interesting format for communicating themes and lessons that sometimes may be categorised as "self-help". It reminds me in a sense of "Tuesdays With Morrie", and I think this book will similarly stand the test of time.
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For film buffs, there are definite allusions to Frank Capra’s 1946 timeless classic, "It’s A Wonderful Life", both thematically but also more expressly in Nora’s hometown of Bedford, I assume a nod to Bedford Falls.
Matt’s next book, ‘The Comfort Book’, is out on July 6th. I can’t wait to get my hands on this. It sounds like a hug in a book.
"The Comfort Book is a collection of little islands of hope. It gathers consolations and stories that give new ways of seeing ourselves and the world. This is the book to pick up when you need the wisdom of a friend, the comfort of a hug or a reminder that hope comes from unexpected places."
Just what we could all do with.
The Midnight Library is published by Canongate Books.