The Midnight Library by Matt Haig

Perhaps because my expectations of The Midnight Library were sky-high, I was slightly underwhelmed by it.
It is a sweet, inspiring, life-affirming book, but it isn’t quite a cracking story.
The main character, Nora Seed, commits suicide and is given a chance to live many of her alternative lives. The conclusion is predictable, of course, and I won’t go into that.
For me, the problem lay with Nora skimming through her different lives’ options, not quite living them, not quite engaging with them, not even knowing what to say and do as she seems to parachute into this life and that without any prior briefing. So, it is all very superficial and intermittent. The other characters can’t come into their own because there simply isn’t enough time for them to grow. And as I said, there is no overarching story (other than Nora’s returns to the library to grab a ticket to another life).
There were a few fun moments, the polar bear being my favourite, but even they were heavily saturated with poignant messages and didactic wisdoms.
I am sure (and I’m not surprised) that other readers love this book as it is so reassuring, but for me it was more of a mindfulness expose than a tale of amazing fiction. Three stars, it is.
I loved Humans and other stories by Matt Haig. This was just wasn’t my cup of tea.

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