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The Midnight Library
Cover of The Midnight Library
The Midnight Library
A Novel
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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...
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...
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Description-

  • 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 new 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.
 

Awards-

Excerpts-

  • From the cover

    A Conversation About Rain

     

    Nineteen years before she decided to die, Nora Seed sat in the warmth of the small library at Hazeldene School in the town of Bedford. She sat at a low table staring at a chess board.

     

    'Nora dear, it's natural to worry about your future,' said the librarian, Mrs Elm, her eyes twinkling.

     

    Mrs Elm made her first move. A knight hopping over the neat row of white pawns. 'Of course, you're going to be worried about the exams. But you could be anything you want to be, Nora. Think of all that possibility. It's exciting.'

     

    'Yes. I suppose it is.'

     

    'A whole life in front of you.'

     

    'A whole life.'

     

    'You could do anything, live anywhere. Somewhere a bit less cold and wet.'

     

    Nora pushed a pawn forward two spaces.

     

    It was hard not to compare Mrs Elm to her mother, who treated Nora like a mistake in need of correction. For instance, when she was a baby her mother had been so worried Nora's left ear stuck out more than her right that she'd used sticky tape to address the situation, then disguised it beneath a woollen bonnet.

     

    'I hate the cold and wet,' added Mrs Elm, for emphasis.

     

    Mrs Elm had short grey hair and a kind and mildly crinkled oval face sitting pale above her turtle-green polo neck. She was quite old. But she was also the person most on Nora's wavelength in the entire school, and even on days when it wasn't raining she would spend her afternoon break in the small library.

     

    'Coldness and wetness don't always go together,' Nora told her. 'Antarctica is the driest continent on Earth. Technically, it's a desert.'

     

    'Well, that sounds up your street.'

     

    'I don't think it's far enough away.'

     

    'Well, maybe you should be an astronaut. Travel the galaxy.'

     

    Nora smiled. 'The rain is even worse on other planets.'

     

    'Worse than Bedfordshire?'

     

    'On Venus it is pure acid.'

     

    Mrs Elm pulled a paper tissue from her sleeve and delicately blew her nose. 'See? With a brain like yours you can do anything.'

     

    A blond boy Nora recognised from a couple of years below her ran past outside the rain-speckled window. Either chasing someone or being chased. Since her brother had left, she'd felt a bit unguarded out there. The library was a little shelter of civilisation.

     

    'Dad thinks I've thrown everything away. Now I've stopped swimming.'

     

    'Well, far be it from me to say, but there is more to this world than swimming really fast. There are many different possible lives ahead of you. Like I said last week, you could be a glaciologist. I've been researching and the-'

     

    And it was then that the phone rang.

     

    'One minute,' said Mrs Elm, softly. 'I'd better get that.'

     

    A moment later, Nora watched Mrs Elm on the phone. 'Yes. She's here now.' The librarian's face fell in shock. She turned away from Nora, but her words were audible across the hushed room: 'Oh no. No. Oh my God. Of course . . .'

     

     

    Nineteen Years Later

    The Man at the Door

     

    Twenty-seven hours before she decided to die, Nora Seed sat on her dilapidated sofa scrolling through other people's happy lives, waiting for something to happen. And then, out of nowhere, something actually did.

     

    Someone, for whatever peculiar reason, rang her doorbell.

     

    She wondered for a moment if she...

About the Author-

  • Matt Haig is the author of the internationally bestselling memoir Reasons to Stay Alive, along with five novels, including How to Stop Time, and several award-winning children's books. His work has been translated into more than thirty languages.

Reviews-

  • Publisher's Weekly

    July 27, 2020
    Haig (How to Stop Time) draws on quantum wave theory in this charming if sometimes laborious account of the many possible lives of a depressed woman. Nora, in her mid-30s and living in the small English town of Bedford, suffers from “situational depression”—though, as she wryly observes, “It’s just that I keep on having new... situations.” After she gets fired from her job and her cat dies, she attempts suicide, only to wake up in a book-lined liminal zone, where she is guided by a librarian: “Between life and death there is a library... Every book provides a chance to try another life you could have lived.” There, Nora discovers what would have happened had she not abandoned her promising swimming career, called off her engagement, or left the rock band she started with her brother. Each time an alternate life disappoints or doesn’t feel quite right, Nora exits, reappearing in the library to continue browsing for the perfect story. While the formula grows repetitive, the set changes provide novelty, as Haig whisks Nora from Australian beaches to a South American rock concert tour to an Arctic encounter with a polar bear. Haig’s agreeable narrative voice and imagination will reward readers who take this book off the shelf.

  • AudioFile Magazine English actress Carey Mulligan narrates this wondrous audiobook about a woman's existential journey between life and death. At age 35, Nora Seed attempts suicide. Instead of dying, Nora arrives at a metaphysical library that represents all her possible existences had she made different choices. Each book transports Nora to another life, which she experiences firsthand until she feels unfulfilled. She then returns to the library to try again. While the story structure is episodic, Mulligan maintains strong narrative cohesion with her vibrant and humane portrayals of Nora and of the recurring characters who appear in her various lives. Mulligan's incredible talent shines throughout as she leads listeners through a grand adventure and a deeply personal exploration of what it means to have a good life. A.T.N. Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award � AudioFile 2020, Portland, Maine

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Matt Haig
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