Samantha Leigh Miller

writer, reader, teacher

The Midnight Library, by Matt Haig

I dropped out of school in 9th grade, was married at 17, and had two children by 21, so um, yes, I’ve been in Nora’s shoes and wondering what my life might look like if I’d made different choices.  Sadly, we meet Nora at the lowest point in her life—possibly the end of her life (not a spoiler, the narrator gives this up at the first line).  But as death approaches, Nora finally begins to live.

The Midnight Library is a deceptively simple story, one we’ve all fantasized about, and one we’ve read before.  The lives Nora leads, though, and the truths she learns are a complex tale that speaks directly to your uneasy soul.  What if I’d stayed in school?  What if I’d waited to have children?  (Obviously I love mine, lol, not the point here.)  Nora loses a cat that she deeply regrets, which is a spoiler, sorry!  But it’s a small one, and one I had to reveal so I could share my own “what if” about our dog that I waited too long to take to the vet.  He was old and already going, but I regret that day even now as I write this.  Experiencing Nora’s opportunities to live out her “what ifs” as I read the book reminded me that I bring authenticity to my high schoolers when I help them stay in school.  That my pregnant students know I care, but also that I truly empathize.  And that my children see how I struggle and make better choices for their own lives because of mine.

Read The Midnight Library to remember that you matter to people, even if you don’t know it.  Read it to help yourself find the courage to lead your own life, instead of letting it lead you.  And read it to find some faith in a universe where sometimes things really do happen to us for a reason.

We miss you every day, Bacon!

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