With over 2 million copies sold worldwide, The Midnight Library by Matt Haig has become one of the most popular and most successful books of 2020. For weeks, it topped the lists of the New York Times, Sunday Times, and other bestseller lists. And it’s not surprising, since this book dives into the feelings that many of us have had to deal with lately – depression, anxiety, uncertainty. It also touches on darker, even more stigmatized topics such as suicide. The author himself has been dealing with the stigma around mental health problems his whole life. This is the book for and about mental health, written in a wonderful and captivating way. And it’s especially recommended for those of us who feel like we need a little bit of help in finding our way back to happiness.
Nora, the main character, has ended up at the Midnight Library. A place between life and death, full of books. Nora is a piano teacher, a former swimming champion, a former philosophy student. But she feels like she is superfluous to the universe. She feels miserable and is drowning in regrets. At the Library, she is given a possibility to see what her life could have been. Each book contains a version of her life, based on the choices she had made. Endless opportunities to find the “perfect” life. However, it turns out to be not that simple, and the lives she had imagined are not always what she expected. Will she manage to find the best possible way to live before her time is over? Will it be by saving her relationship? Or pursuing her Olympic career? Or following her dream of becoming a musician? Only Nora herself can find the answer…
At the age of 24, Matt Haig (46) experienced the lowest point of his life. He had to face the deepest gulf of his depression and was close to ending his life. After a long and slow recovery, he came out a stronger, more grateful person. It also inspired him to explore the idea of infinite possibilities that can result from our choices and the gratitude to be alive. The Midnight Library is truly a phenomenal book that, according to Haig, will “hopefully help to find comfort when feeling inadequate and full of regrets”. It’s a beautiful fable with a therapeutic heart.
Written by Anastasiia Myronenko