Reading Women Book Review: The Midnight Library

Category: Fraternity

Andrea Kleekamp

Delta Eta, Kansas State

Note: This book discusses suicide. If you or someone you know needs help or support, the National Suicide Prevention Hotline is available 24/7 at 1-800-273-8255.

Reading Women is an online book club for Thetas. The club was created to connect members - both collegians and alumnae - from all around the world to share thoughts, ideas, and generally engage with one another in a new and unique way. Every so often a book comes along and you just cannot stop thinking about it. You cannot read fast enough because you must know what happens next. When you close the book on that last page, you are bummed the experience is over. The book that most recently made me feel this kind of way was The Midnight Library by Matt Haig.

The book centers on Nora Seed. Nora’s life has increasingly become one of disappointment, sadness, and despair. When she enters the Midnight Library, she has the chance to explore how things will be different. Surely, making other choices would result in happiness and joy, right? Through the books of the library, Nora is transported to different versions of, ‘What if?’ in her life. As I read, I found myself reflecting on this for my own life. What would it be like to have this experience? What would I want to explore? What might change in my own story?

As Nora goes deeper into the Library, she finds one choice can change literally everything. It’s interesting to see the ripple effect as one part of her story becomes different. What Nora thinks is going to be a better, happier version isn’t necessarily always the case. Throughout, it’s captivating to see each iteration of Nora come to life.

This is a book you’ll find yourself wanting to talk about with others. I was thrilled when this was selected for this year’s Reading Women list. While I had read it on my own, being able to re-read and discuss it with sisters further enhanced the story. I loved being able to consider together what our own midnight libraries would be and what it would be like to have the chance to truly explore what might have been!