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27Aug

The Midnight Library by Matt Haig review – a celebration of life's possibilities

Rock star, Olympic medal winner, mother … a woman is able to step into the possible outcomes of her life, exploring the best and the worst that could happen

Nora Seed feels useless. Her cat is dead, her brother doesn’t seem to be interested in her, and she has been fired: nobody needs her. Late one evening, she tries to kill herself.

But instead of death, what Nora finds is a library in which each volume represents a version of her life where she made different choices. The possibilities are numberless. There is a Nora who became a rock star, another who has won Olympic medals, another living aboard an Arctic research vessel; some versions are mothers, wives, orphans; famous and influential, or not. All she has to do to step into that life is open the book. If she finds a good life, she can stay; the difficulty lies in deciding “whether a life could really be judged from just a few minutes after midnight on a Tuesday”.

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