The Midnight Library

The Midnight Library by Matt Haig Book Summary

The New York Times bestselling WORLDWIDE phenomenon
Winner of the Goodreads Choice Award for Fiction | A Good Morning America Book Club Pick
"A feel-good book guaranteed to lift your spirits."—The Washington Post 

The dazzling reader-favorite about the choices that go into a life well lived, from the acclaimed author of How To Stop Time and The Comfort Book.


Somewhere out beyond the edge of the universe there is a library that contains an infinite number of books, each one the story of another reality. One tells the story of your life as it is, along with another book for the other life you could have lived if you had made a different choice at any point in your life. While we all wonder how our lives might have been, what if you had the chance to go to the library and see for yourself? Would any of these other lives truly be better?

In The Midnight Library, Matt Haig's enchanting blockbuster novel, Nora Seed finds herself faced with this decision. Faced with the possibility of changing her life for a new one, following a different career, undoing old breakups, realizing her dreams of becoming a glaciologist; she must search within herself as she travels through the Midnight Library to decide what is truly fulfilling in life, and what makes it worth living in the first place.

The Midnight Library by Matt Haig Book Reviews

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- Beautiful Thoughts5 star

Learned that a want is rather a lack.

- Perfect for Those Who Despair4 star

While this book lacks the belief in a High Power, the vision of ridding oneself of regrets emanates loudly in the protagonists experiences. Easy read.

- A must read5 star

Really insightful and well-written!

- Great Read!5 star

First book I’ve read this year and I finished it so quickly. It’s beautiful!

- So good!5 star

This was a lovely book. Entertaining and inspiring. I wish I could read it again for the first time.

- Read it now!5 star

Such a great thought provoking book. Just amazing I finished it feeling a renewed sense of life and all that it has to offer. Such a fun story!

- Great read5 star

Sleep deprived with a newborn, I still managed to read “just one more chapter” night after night. A beautiful book full of wisdom and honesty.

- Heartwarming5 star

I loved this book! Great concept and creatively written. Makes you really think!

- The Midnight Library5 star

Loved this book, so creative!

- Interesting premise3 star

Interesting premise. Not the best writing style, and a bit cheesy. However, kept my attention. Worth a read if you’re looking for something distracting and like the idea of the novel.

- Cute and heartwarming5 star

Creative tale about life. Short and easy read, also easily holds your attention.

- Fascinating5 star

I really enjoyed the book! It was an easy read. It makes you think all aspects into your own life.

- Regrets halt progress5 star

This book was something I needed at this point in my life. Other reviews said it was uplifting and I suppose that’s true, but mainly it’s eye-opening. It’s a reminder that the life you’re living is also skewed by the life of yesterday- you’re obsessing over. So, stop obsessing over what’s done if you can. Presence. Being present matters.

- SO GOOD!5 star

I finished this in two days! I loved this book! Highly recommend. It makes you think about life and “mistake” and “regrets” in a simple and beautiful way. 10/10

- Touched5 star

Wow...just, wow! I am deeply touched by this book. It was a random selection but I now see God aligned it.

- I have founded my new favorite fiction author5 star

The Midnight Library read as easy as a conversation. I enjoyed the premise although deeper characters would have been an improvement. They had a “one dimensional” sort of feel to them. Well written and I’m looking forward to reading more from Mr. Haig.

- Feel good5 star

This is a feel good book and just what I needed right now. It is hopeful. This book could be made into a movie easily.

- Some great phrases, good story4 star

I enjoyed this book. There were some noteworthy paragraphs and sentences I could apply to my life Almost something you could frame and Put on the wall. I think at times applying to all of us. Thought provoking story, maybe it’s just my present time Of life. I enjoyed the perspective.

- Great read5 star

Such a great read! I got consumed in it & it makes you think of life in a different life!

- Midnight Library5 star

I really liked this book! It put life into perspective for me. Very inspiring.

- 10/105 star

I used to enjoy reading so much but it has been YEARS since I last picked up a book. I’ve recently gone threw a bout of depression, and just last week during one of my “quiet” moments I felt the need to try to start again. I spent an hour searching for the perfect book, one that I hoped we keep my interest, and this without a doubt hit it out of the park. It makes you really think about your life, and puts it into a perception that you’ve probably never seen it in before. 10/10, 5 stars, I’m recommending to everyone.

- Catches you from the start5 star

This book catches you from the start. It gets emotionally real right away. You’re immediately at the point when you think— Oh this might be too deep and too sad, but the funny and witty character it grabs you. I loved this unexpected journey.

- Beautiful beautiful and needed during these times.5 star

This book echoed so many familiar feelings inside of me. It gave me so much hope and I just enjoyed it so much.

- Pretty good4 star

Starts out a little predictable but ends with a good message—-Live in the moment.

- Thoughtful, adventurous, and humble5 star

Great read, especially if feeling down or unsure about the direction you chose in life. You are exactly where you are supposed to be.

- A page turner5 star

Such a well done alternate universe/infinite possibilities novel. It is chock-full of dilemmas and resolutions. I loved it.

- Great Read!5 star

Wow incredible book. I was skeptical from the description, but ultimately decided to try it and it’s now one of my favorite books!

- Beautiful Book5 star

I loved this book. It is so refreshingly different. I have seen criticisms that say anyone could have written it and that it’s predictable. I so disagree. The whole premise of the book is that no one is just anyone. And predictability can be the best thing life has to offer. This book is not only entertaining but chock full of “life-isms” that are nothing short of profound. I found myself so drawn to this book just to find out where Nora ends up next. I have kind of become a “Nora” due to the pandemic and this book helped take me out if that for a time. This is a story written by a true storyteller. Matt Haig has spent some serious time thinking of the possibilities and all I can say is “wow”.

- Top 5 books I’ve read5 star

This book is amazing. I couldn’t put it down and managed to finish it in 3 days. A great read about life and the many lessons and choices we have.

- Great Book!5 star

Absolutely Uplifting! I needed this ♥️

- poorly executed2 star

very exciting premise with a strong beginning but everything that followed was poorly executed — juvenile writing style, plot gets repetitive, the “lessons” are obvious

- 100000/105 star

One of the best books I’ve ever read.

- Have regrets in life? Wish you could go back?5 star

This book is very good! I am going to read it again! It tackles that age-old question- “What if I had made different decisions in my life?!” Highly recommend!

- Simply Wonderful5 star

One of the best books I’ve read in a long time. It has changed the way I look at life in a wonderful way. Uplifting, adventurous, real and fun.

- So insightful5 star

My top recommendation for a feel good read in a hard time, the Midnight Library will surely change your perspective and make you want to, “do better”

- to get through COVID5 star

great read for when you’re feeling a little lost, a little hopeless, and contemplating all of your life choices. brings you back to reality when you feel as far away from life as you can get, and reminds you that each day holds immense potential.

- The Midnight Library3 star

The true fiction in this novel is that clinical depression can be overcome through a near death experience.

- Very enjoyable4 star

Very enjoyable derivative of “It’s a Wonderful Life” (which is derivative of “A Christmas Carol”).

- Best book I’ve read in awhile!5 star

Very thought provoking! I very much enjoyed this book

- Midnight library2 star

Anyone could have written this. Skip it.

- Juvenile2 star

Juvenile. Poorly written. Meh. Phony philosophy. Stay away.

- Love love love5 star

Relatable and inspiring. Deals with life’s questions we all share at some point and leaves you with a renewed sense of peace and excitement. “Don’t have to understand life - just live it”

- This book will give you direction.5 star

Our lives are utter chaos right now (and, frankly, always). This book makes them make sense.

- Great Book5 star

“It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see.”

- AWESOME read!!5 star

Fantastic writing that hooked me from the beginning and I couldn’t put down! The infinite possibilities absolutely fascinated me

- Must Read5 star

Loved every single page. Perfect book to help you remember what is important in these trying times!

- Intriguing and thought provoking. A quick read with many twists and turns.5 star

Liked the creative look into the possibility of parallel universes. We all ask ourselves the question “what if...?”

- Amazing!5 star

Love love love this book!! It was our book of the month for Book Club and I could not put it down. I love the twists and turns, on top of the deep life lessons it teaches along the way. It’s brilliant. Simply brilliant.

- Loved this book, I loved the realizations made while exploring many different paths.5 star

This book provided a very real perspective for whether one is struggling with where they are in their lives or not.

- Enjoyable4 star

A solidly entertaining book. It does begin to feel a bit repetitive, but it’s worth it.

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r.lauren27 - ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️5 star


Flomaton - Healing and Delightful!5 star

I am reading it again.

UberGinger - Beautiful life changing book5 star

This was by far the best book I have read a very long time. I am a different person because of my decision to read this amazing story.

highlander198 - Great read5 star

Just makes you stop and reflect; have gratitude and perspective. Thoughtful and thought provoking. Loved it. Thank you🙏🏼

grace26785 - I Adore Nora5 star

Absolutely beautiful. Uplifting, profound, and heartfelt. A stunning portrait of what it’s like to live with mental illness and fall into the depths of despair—and to climb out of them too. I am alive, indeed!

Amedina713 - 👍🏼👏🏼5 star

A true masterpiece that gets the mind, body, and soul to drift into your own personal midnight library. I laughed, smiled, worried, and cried through out the entire book. In a way this book popped up on me at the start of a rough season in my life and not only had me think of the many possibilities of my own midnight library but brought me a bit of peace in a frustrating season, I pray comes to an end soon...... “you don’t have to understand life, you just have to live it” I AM ALIVE

Molly!5663 - Captures the many conflicts of being human5 star

Loved this story about the struggle of living your own life as is through Nora. The wanting more or different holds us all back. Easy read with lots of connection.

abdkeiuqvd - Predictable2 star

The story line was mapped out for you within the first 30 pages. In the beginning the author does a great job to hook you in. As I continued reading further and further though it became more and more predictable. Like when you write an essay and give your main supporting facts in your introduction paragraph - this author gave all the story line highlights that he was going to take you through before you even read the rest of the book. The ending was nearly exactly what I thought it would be. Additionally the ending lacked real life experience and expectation of those suffering through what the main character went through.

stardustandbooks - Just amazing5 star

I don’t usually write reviews but I just had to with this. This book was everything I could’ve wanted and more. It’s a beautifully written story and incredibly touching. I feel as though it’s given me a new perspective on life and it’s probably one of my favorite books ever now. I can see myself rereading it many times throughout my life. I would definitely recommend it!

Whitmben - Lovely4 star

Such a lovely heartwarming tale at a time when it’s most needed 🤍

Casterwill_ - Beautiful story!5 star

Really makes you think about what’s really important!

Joanou - Regret...3 star

It’s nice. Sweet. Has interesting observations about regret and a life not lived. But is also somewhat episodic and runs out of steam. A good light read.

Brunetta4u - No regrets5 star

Such a wonderfully hopeful book in these downtrodden times. From life lessons and philosophical phrases to travel will learn so much from this book.

LeighHugs - Beautiful5 star

For anyone who has ever struggled with despair or regret, or who is trying to understand the inner world of someone who is, and how you might help them - this book is for you.

EldridgeJ - Book club book4 star

If you’re looking for a light read with a heavy subject matter for your next book club book then this is it. A story told within one book; you will find yourself pondering the meaning of your relationships in your life and their impact or importance relative to your own value. While you may be able to guess early on how a story like this will turn out, it’s definitely about the journey rather than the ending.

gdub2019 - It’s A Wonderful Life For The Modern Age5 star

Great read for the holidays. Reminds you life has to be lived, no matter the obstacles you face.

DJH1950 - Great Read!!5 star

Brilliantly imagined and written. An incredible journey of discovery about oneself.

Get the Houston Opera Company recording instead - A little disappointing3 star

Strong start with very accurate description of how disappointing one’s life can become. And interesting fantasy solution. However, I feel that the metaphor went on for too long and had no resolution. No definite observations on the reality of living one life with perspective, or without regrets, especially for lonely singular lives that some of us find inescapable. Just sayin....

RenellaG - Outstanding! 🤩5 star

Absolutely loved this book! Probably the best book I’ve read this year!

Senam Grace - Loved ❤️5 star

I loved this book, especially at this time of the year when everything seems somehow dark and uncertain. The storyline is easy to follow, and yet full of philosophical lines worth pondering about further. I will surely pick this again, and i highly recommend it to anyone like me, who needs a reason or reasons to keep moving and living. And to anyone who is not sure where the next foot may lead them to. This is indeed a great read, and worth the investment of time and money.

Jamiam987 - Amazing5 star

Absolutely loved it. I was sad reading the last page- I didn’t want this book to end......

Wildfirejv - Exceptional!5 star

What an exceptional book! Great characters, brilliant plot, a real page turner!

mack_oliviaaaa - Draws you in5 star

Originally I wasn’t sure what to think of this book, I read a good 70 pages and was intrigued. I came back after about two weeks and finished it in two days, it really makes you contemplate both life after death and what makes living so amazing and magical, especially considering the insignificance of human existence compared to the universe. I highly recommend some quiet and relaxing music in the background to sink into this eye opening read.

GiuliaNYC - Farfetched3 star

It felt like the type of story the primitive man came up with to use a mythology to explain the origin of the world - conveniently made up to explain what happens at the point of death but purely wishful thinking masquerading as tied to real possibility and quantum physics, and kind of sophomoric in the imagined scenarios.

Brouville - Magnificent.5 star

Absolutely amazing. Inspiring, revitalizing, touching and endlessly insightful. I’m sure I will think of it often and read it again when times get tough. Thank you, Matt Haig. Thank you so much.

Matt Haig - The Midnight Library Comments

About Matt Haig Wiki

Matt Haig (born 3 July 1975) is an English novelist and journalist. He has written both fiction and non-fiction for children and adults, often in the speculative fiction genre. Early life Haig was born on 3 July 1975 in Sheffield. He studied English and History at the University of Hull. Career Haig is the author of both fiction and non-fiction for children and adults. His work of non-fiction, Reasons to Stay Alive, was a number one Sunday Times bestseller and was in the UK top 10 for 46 weeks. His bestselling children's novel, Father Christmas and Me, is currently being adapted for film, produced by Studio Canal and Blueprint Pictures. His novels are often dark and quirky takes on fam...

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