Has your life ever changed if you got lost

Matt Haig - Die Mitternachtsbibliothek / The Midnight Library

  • Title: The Midnight Library

    Published by Droemer HC

    Binding: Hardcover

    Number of pages: 320

    ISBN: 9783426282564

    Date: New publication February 2021

  • 4.1 of 5 stars from 30 ratings

    82,3% satisfaction
  • Synopsis of "The Midnight Library"

    Imagine, on the way to the afterlife, there was a huge library, lined with all the lives that you could have led. Anything you've ever regretted could be undone. This is exactly where Nora Seed finds herself after she decided, out of sheer desperation, to take her own life. In this place between space and time, where the clock hands are always on midnight, she suddenly has the opportunity to turn around everything that has thrown her life off course. But can you find happiness in another life knowing that it is not your own?
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  • Very profound. : D Full of symbolism and fascinating thoughts.
  • an interesting thought experiment


  • Nora suffers from depression and is completely unhappy with her life. When her cat dies, her only "caregiver", she decides to take her own life. But Nora ends up in the midnight library. A place between life and death. There she finds access to all the life she could have lived. Because every decision leads to a new parallel life and now she can test herself, try out the different lives and see if she can find one in which she would like to stay alive.

    The idea that there are an infinite number of parallel universes is not new. I've known this since the movie "The Butterfly Effect" at least, but I really like the idea that these lives are kept in a library. Nora has managed nothing in her life. She didn't become an Olympic swimmer, wife or musician, and even as a cat mom she failed. In the library she comes across the book of regrets, which weighs incredibly heavy. As almost always, it's the things you haven't done that make you regret the most. So she tries a life in which she pursued something that she originally gave up. But will she make this life happy? Or another?

    It is fun to accompany Nora and to see how her life changes as a result of a decision. Because even small decisions can have a big impact. For example, if you wear the red instead of the green dress, you may meet your dream man and start a family, because the man only sees you in the red dress. It is also interesting to see how Nora finds her way in a new life, because even if it is actually her life, she cannot remember anything and has to reconstruct the last few years for herself - as inconspicuously as possible, of course.

    Conclusion: The message of the book is clear relatively quickly, but beautiful and life-affirming. The idea is not new, but it was implemented very well, which made the book consistently entertaining and worth reading. 4.5 stars, which I round up to 5.

  • And here is the original:

  • K.-G. Beck-Ewe

    Changed the title of the topic from "Matt Haig - Die Mitternachtsbibliothek" to "Matt Haig - Die Mitternachtsbibliothek / The Midnight Library".
  • Choices change our lives. The butterfly effect is no longer a foreign concept for all of us. And the feeling "What if ...?" Most of us know one way or another.

    Matt Haig manages to spin a wonderful fictional novel around this feeling, which is rightly hyped as a bestseller. I like to be a bit critical when it comes to such "predictions", but this time I was blown away. He writes exciting and to the point. Each chapter builds on the next, I have the feeling of witnessing the creation of a work of art rather than reading a novel. Or more of the making of a life? Because that's what ultimately matters for the protagonist, the question of how a perfect life would have come about for her.

    My favorite passages were the words about the cat Voltair and the ending, which I felt was one hundred percent right.

    Combined with a lot of wisdom and humor, emotionality and depth, he guides us side by side through a very special experience: a library between times. The midnight library.

    Conclusion: a real classic that I will live on for a long time!

    Live, love, laugh - and always have a book with you! Mias reading lines wish you a lot of fun with my reviews!

  • Yes, this book really has a really great message and the author brings it across in a wonderfully heartwarming way. Yes, he writes very easily and it is a pleasure to read this book.
    It is also very easy to read, so that the reader gets into a nice reading flow.

    The characters also come across as very authentic and have grown dear to my heart, especially Mrs Elm. And let's be honest, in this book life is a library! How great is that?

    But still I am very dissatisfied with the end. In the end, that was really too much of a good thing. Without spoiling too much, the protagonist had basically made her peace, so why do you have to exaggerate? A little less would have been more.

    Conclusion: Nonetheless, it is a wonderful book that is entertaining and has a magical message.

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    Nora Seed is very unhappy in her life. Out of sheer desperation, she decided to take her own life. Now she can be found in the midnight library. A library with thousands of books and every book contains a life Nora could have lived. She tries one after the other, each bringing her into a different life in which she first has to find her way. But can a life that you have not led yourself really make you happy?


    For me this is not the first book in which there are countless other parallel lives besides our own lives. The assumption that a new life splits off with every decision is fascinating but also somehow disturbing. Then there would be thousands of parallel universes with thousands of each of us. But it would be interesting to find out how your own life would have been if you had done this or that differently, right?

    Nora Seed has this facility in the Midnight Library, which she is in after her attempted suicide. Here she can choose books that show her a life if she had made a different decision here or there. But are these lives really better?

    Matt Haig has created a wonderful book here about life and the decisions we make every day. It is a cheer for our life, which - even if it sometimes makes us despair - is the only one that belongs to us. Every decision we make is what defines us and our lives.

    This story gave me courage. While there is a lot I regret, every decision has led to the life I live now. Every decision made who I am. Of course there are many things that I regret that I might do differently. But who knows who I would have become then. ... who knows, maybe there really are thousands of parallel universes in which there are thousands of Caros and in which every decision is played through. Maybe I'm even a well-known author or actress or something similar in one of them. But who knows if I'm happy in these lives Will I have my three children and my current husband? No, I am glad that I live here in my life.

    As you can see from my digressions, the Midnight Library is a story that gives a lot of food for thought. And for that alone I love this book!


    A wonderful story about life and the choices that make us who we are. Cheers for life and plenty of food for thought.

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    For Nora Seed, in her mid-30s, life is not going well at all. She is single, childless and recently out of a job. Her brother doesn't want to see her, her cat has just been run over and she doesn't feel needed by anyone. Suicide seems to her to be the right way out. But what she didn't expect: On the way to the afterlife, she comes to a huge library with all the lives she could have led. There Nora has the opportunity to find out what would have happened if she had changed her mind. Every book brings you into a changed world. But can you find happiness in another life knowing that it is not your own?

    "The Midnight Library" is a novel by Matt Haig.

    My opinion:

    The novel consists of more than 70 pleasantly short chapters. The story is told from Nora's perspective. This setup works fine.

    The writing style is vivid, lively and full of pictures. The author succeeds in portraying his fantasy in such a way that the reader can easily imagine it in front of the inner eye.

    As the protagonist, Nora is clearly in the focus of the story. She is quite a personable character, although she seems a little immature for her age. Although I cannot identify with her, I could understand her thoughts well. In addition, a number of minor characters appear.

    What particularly attracted me to the novel was the creative idea of ​​the books with the different lives, which is presented in a coherent way. The different worlds make reading entertaining and entertaining. At one point or another the story should and should have been a bit more detailed.

    One of the novel's strengths is that it is thought-provoking. It's about life choices, about remorse and lost opportunities, about opportunities and significant turning points. Philosophical questions are raised. The important topic of depression is also examined in more detail here. All of this helps make the novel amazingly profound.

    I also liked the fact that not only the cover is based on the original edition, but also the concise English title was translated verbatim into German.

    My conclusion:

    Even if the idea could certainly have gotten more out of it, Matt Haig did not disappoint me again. His novel "Die Mitternachtsbibliothek" prepares wonderful reading hours and also provides interesting food for thought.

  • The blurb says exactly what this is about: Nora Seed is in her mid-30s when she realizes that she can't seem to hold onto anything in her life. She feels unloved and not needed by anyone, has been battling depression for years and decides to put an end to it.

    However, this end does not lead them to death, but to the midnight library. Here she has the opportunity to review everything - especially to reconsider the decisions that she regrets and, above all, to change them.

    Everyone certainly thinks sometimes about how their life would have been if they had decided differently in certain situations in the past. In addition, there is the scientifically often mentioned idea of ​​parallel universes, countless worlds that exist alongside "ours" and in which all possibilities are open, because our lives are different in each of these worlds.

    Of course, that creates a great fascination for being able to get to know this life. I would also be curious about what other alternatives I would have chosen and what developments would have resulted from them.

    I couldn't really imagine how Matt Haig would do it, but he got it across very nicely. Together with Nora we experience, sometimes briefly and sometimes longer, the most diverse paths to success and failure, to fulfilled hopes and unfulfilled dreams and discover the potential that is in every life. I think that is the core message: life always starts NOW and keeps all possibilities open to become happy.

    However, I have to stop here, because I think Matt Haig sometimes makes things too easy for himself. He wants to convey a positive message, of course, which is important, but for many people it is not as easy as he portrays it here. Just knowing that my life has all possibilities does not mean that I can achieve them. Since he himself suffers from depression, he certainly knows that, and it was probably "just" a need to bring something happy and positive into the world with this book.

    "It is easy to mourn the possible life variants that we do not live. It is easy to wish that one had developed other talents, accepted other offers. Easy to wish that one had worked harder, loved more deeply, his Finances managed smarter would have been more popular [...] "

    Quote page 306

    This statement in particular amazed and struck me. Because thinking about these things and working on yourself is not easy! I know how he probably meant it - to emphasize that the other part is more difficult but manageable, namely facing the situation as it is and accepting it and making the best of it.

    Still, it feels a bit like a slap in the face to me - some people struggle a lot with certain decisions and they struggle to deal with their mental health problems that are related to them. I don't think it's nice to call that "easy", because it's just as difficult or not and you can't generalize that.

    But there were also many beautiful moments and messages, especially when it comes to loneliness. Loneliness in the midst of the crowd is a sad phenomenon:

    "The lonely soul in the hectic city longs for relationships because it thinks interpersonal relationships are the alpha and omega. But in the midst of deserted nature (or the" elixir of the wilderness ", as Thoreau called it), loneliness took on a different character"

    Quote on page 148

    These many social media friendships often do not have the effect one hoped for. Another area of ​​superficiality that creeps into more and more areas. On the other hand there is the feeling of a fulfilling loneliness in the seclusion of nature, since one can find oneself here. Being able to really feel yourself again and build and experience a relationship with yourself (and nature) that you can no longer feel "in everyday life".

    Incidentally, he often mentions and quotes the philosopher Henry David Thoreau. I've heard the name before, but I've never dealt with it, I'll definitely do that now.

    And of course he also describes very nicely that "a happy life" does not mean pure happiness. Life is made up of many feelings, and sadness and fear are just as important as joy, fun and love.

    He also shows this in Nora's expectation, who was never enough and always had the feeling that she had to suffice for others in order to be happy herself. Whether or not she would fulfill her own dreams was secondary, as she did not value herself but hoped for it from others.

    The more life she "visits" and the more she realizes how fulfilling and frustrating each of them can be, the more she thinks about herself. Sometimes it bothered me a little that she was so obviously asking about things that she " because she slips into a strange body, into a strange life, so to speak, in order to look around there and something often slips out of her, which she could have thought about first. All in all, that would have taken more time, and given the shortness of the book, it was okay that way.

    In any case, Matt Haig packaged his message well and left a positive feeling that everyone has the chance to reach for the opportunities that present themselves and to accept the consequences.

    Overall, I still can't quite go along, as mentioned above. It feels a bit like "I just have to want to, then I'll be better" - and unfortunately that is not an easy step for many people. As if you were to say to a person in a wheelchair: if you only really want to, you can walk again ... but it's not that simple with the feelings that struggle within us and yet I hope that this book will appeal to everyone who read it, can give something positive.

    My conclusion: 4 stars

    "The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue" by V. E. Schwab
    My book blog: Weltenwanderer

  • "What if" has surely been the question everyone has asked before. Nora Seed too, but she is still very surprised when, after her suicide attempt, she finds herself in an intermediate world in which she can enter every version of her life through books.If she had made a different decision somewhere, her life would have been very different.

    The aim of the exercise is a bit like Faust. To find the life that satisfies her 100% and where she would like to say "stay, but you are so beautiful". Otherwise she keeps coming back to the midnight library. And she often does that, because even if she was able to revise a decision that she later regretted, sooner or later other things arise that turn out to be not really great.

    This is also a bit of a life lesson for readers who may have as thick a "regret" book as Nora. Do not indulge in the past. Who knows if this variant of your life would have turned out as great as you always imagine.

    "Faust" came to mind at the beginning of the book (which I don't even know if Matt Haig was inspired by), but towards the end of the book it struck me like scales from my eyes which work here should be referenced very obviously! After all, the story takes place in Bedford, which has been mentioned often enough from the beginning. The names Bailey and Donna appear later. And then Nora takes a walk through her hometown, where her original version never existed. "The life is wonderful, is not it?" Naturally! And there is also a life lesson for Nora and the readers!

    I thought the end was good (although I thought it could have ended a little earlier, Nora saw that too), not cheesy-happy-ending but still looking positively into the future.