|Posted on||September 29, 2020|
|Page Count||304 pages|
The Midnight Library Summary
Between life and death, there is a library.
When Nora Seed finds herself in the Midnight Library, she has a chance to make things right. Up until now, her life has been full of misery and regret. She feels she has let everyone down, including herself. But things are about to change.
The books in the Midnight Library enable Nora to live as if she had done things differently. With the help of an old friend, she can now undo every one of her regrets as she tries to work out her perfect life. But things aren’t always what she imagined they’d be, and soon her choices place the library and herself in extreme danger.
Before time runs out, she must answer the ultimate question: what is the best way to live?
About the Author
MATT HAIG has won a Blue Peter Book Award and the Smarties Book Prize. He has been shortlisted three times for the Carnegie Medal for his stories for children and young adults. He is also the #1 national bestselling writer of books for adults and has sold more than 100,000 books in Canada. Matt Haig lives in Brighton, UK, with his wife and their two children.
The Midnight Library Introduction
Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.
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 chessboard.
‘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 those possibilities. It’s
‘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 le ear stuck out more than her right
that she’d used sticky tape to address the situation, then disguised it beneath
a woolen 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 recognized 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 civilization.
‘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
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 . . .’
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The Midnight Library PDF
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Between life and death, there is a library.
Author: MATT HAIG