A Review of ‘The Midnight Library’ by Matt Haig

Sandeep Srivastav Vaddiparthy
3 min readApr 26, 2023
Photo by Emil Widlund on Unsplash

Introduction: “The Midnight Library” by Matt Haig is a captivating and thought-provoking novel that has taken the literary world by storm. This book weaves together elements of fantasy and contemporary fiction to create a mesmerizing story that delves deep into the complexities of life, regrets, and choices. In this review, we will explore the themes, characters, and writing style of “The Midnight Library,” and uncover why it has become a must-read for anyone seeking introspection and reflection on the human experience.

Summary: “The Midnight Library” follows the story of Nora Seed, a young woman who finds herself at a crossroads in life, grappling with regrets and unfulfilled dreams. On a fateful night, Nora discovers a hidden library that serves as a bridge between life and death, where she is given the chance to explore different parallel lives she could have lived had she made different choices. Guided by the enigmatic librarian, Mrs. Elm, Nora embarks on a profound journey through various universes, each presenting her with different opportunities and regrets to confront.

As Nora navigates these alternate lives, she is forced to confront the consequences of her choices and reflect on what truly matters in life. Through her encounters with different versions of herself, her family, and her friends, Nora learns valuable lessons about regrets, forgiveness, acceptance, and the power of second chances. As she delves deeper into the Midnight Library, Nora begins to understand the complexities of life and the interconnectedness of our choices, and she must ultimately make a decision that will determine her fate.

Themes: “The Midnight Library” explores several profound themes that resonate with readers on a deep level. One of the central themes of the book is the concept of regrets and how they shape our lives. Nora’s journey through the Midnight Library forces her to confront her regrets, face her past mistakes, and come to terms with her choices. The book beautifully captures the emotional weight of regrets and the importance of self-forgiveness and acceptance in finding peace and fulfillment.

Another prominent theme in “The Midnight Library” is the exploration of the multiverse and the concept of infinite possibilities. As Nora travels through different parallel lives, the book delves into the idea of how one small decision or choice can drastically alter the trajectory of our lives. It prompts readers to reflect on the significance of choices in shaping our destinies and encourages self-reflection on the paths we choose to follow.

The book also touches upon mental health and depression, as Nora grapples with her own inner demons throughout her journey. It sensitively portrays the challenges of dealing with mental health issues, the stigma associated with it, and the importance of seeking help and finding support.

Characters: The characters in “The Midnight Library” are beautifully drawn, with depth and complexity that make them relatable and compelling to readers. Nora Seed, the protagonist, is a multi-faceted character who undergoes a transformational journey of self-discovery. Her struggles, vulnerabilities, and growth are authentically portrayed, making her a relatable and empathetic character that readers can root for.

Mrs. Elm, the librarian of the Midnight Library, is a mysterious and wise character who serves as Nora’s guide throughout her journey. Her enigmatic personality and cryptic advice add an air of intrigue to the story and keep readers captivated.

Writing Style: Matt Haig’s writing style in “The Midnight Library” is engaging, introspective, and deeply reflective. The prose is beautifully crafted, with evocative descriptions and vivid imagery that bring the story to life. The book strikes a delicate balance between fantasy and