The Midnight Library
Momma Leighellen's Book Review

Between life and death there is a library.  A book provides a chance to try another life you could have lived.  To see how things would be if you had made other choices…would you have done anything different, if you had the chance to undo your regrets?”  – The Midnight Library

Despite it’s heavy subject matter, I absolutely adored The Midnight Library.  It reminded me a bit of the Christmas classic “A Christmas Carol” in that we get to not only look back at a life and the little choices that define it, but we get to look forward in hope to new beginnings.

The story follows a middle aged woman named Nora Seed, who after a rough day where she comes home and finds out her cat died and she gets fired from her job, decides to end her life.   Instead she awakes in some sort of “middle state” where she gets to look back on her biggest regrets and see where life would have taken her instead if she’d made other decisions. 

“Nora was only able to think of herself in the terms of things she wasn’t. The things she hadn’t been able to become.”

In her mind, this state of purgatory is a library.  Each book on the shelves offers a different life.  As she chooses other lives, she sees that not everything is easily fixed or works out as she assumes.  But do not think this book take suicide lightly, however.  As you progress in the story Nora is always still suffering from depression, still on medication, and still working through grief of some sort, no matter how well her life is going or how successful she is.  The book does a wonderful job of examining inner health as not being determined by exterior forces.  

I loved that this book lives small.  That it expresses the joy that can be found in small moments.  It extolls the power of connection and friendship and the purpose we find in helping others.  

“Sometimes the only way to learn is to live.”

As a person who has experienced two family members attempt suicide, this book is a beautiful look inside our complex minds and the simple moments of connection that keep us grounded.

“Yesterday I had no future.  And yet today, that same messy life seems full of hope.  Potential.” 

Purchase your own copy here or listen here at Libro.FM. You can read more of my reviews on my blog and sign up for my newsletter to get updates on my book club. And to see the lates giveaway, head to my Bookstagram on IG.

CW/TW: death of a pet, suicide, depression, time travel

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