Regret is something that we all have wrestled with; it’s a part of human existence. What if we made a different choice, would our life be better or worse? This is an impossible question that can send us deep into despair and keep us bound, if we let it.
Matt Haig brings this human struggle into the light and beautifully explores what would happen if we could choose a different life. In “The Midnight Library,” we follow the story of Nora, who has battled crippling anxiety and depression. Her life has been full of failures, loss and doubt. The overwhelming despair she feels wins the fight for her life, but instead of death she finds herself in the Midnight Library. Here she has the opportunity to come face to face with all of the things she hoped for herself but didn’t get the chance to have.
This book puts to words what many of us have felt when we are faced with our own what-if’s. We all want to know if our life has meaning, if we were meant for something more, or if we will ever find true happiness. The story gives the reader permission to explore these personal questions for their own lives and put themselves in Nora’s shoes.
As we follow Nora’s journey, we begin to see that regret has many layers. The choices that we thought would bring us the life we wanted turn out not to be what we expected them to be. We get to see how the dreams of others can impact our own, how the pressures of society sculpt our ideas of happiness, and how fear plays a role in our decisions.
If you have ever battled with anxiety, depression or thoughts of suicide, this book will bring healing to your soul. I am very thankful for the author’s transparency and willingness to put his heart on the pages. Because of Matt’s own journey to find freedom, he is showing others how to find it as well.
One of the biggest lies depression will tell us is that our life isn’t worth anything. That couldn’t be further from the truth. We all have a unique purpose and our own journey to get there. Don’t let the comparisons of others, your past mistakes, or doubt of the future cut your story short.
If you are wrestling with life’s big questions, this book is a great place to start. It gives you a chance to step into the life of someone else who is struggling with the same things. This book will give you a friend and let you know the most important thing of all: You are not alone.
Happy reading, friends!
• “The Midnight Library” by Matt Haig was published by Viking in September 2020. It retails for $26.
• Krystal Griswold works for Inklings bookshop. She and other Inklings staffers review books each week in Thursday’s SCENE.