Have you ever imagined a library that’s not quite in the land of the living, but not in the afterlife either?
Well, that’s exactly where The Midnight Library by Matt Haig takes place! It’s a magical place where you can explore all the alternate versions of your life that could have been.
Sounds like the perfect recipe for a philosophical fantasy novel, doesn’t it?
This New York Times bestseller has been making waves in the literary world and was even featured on Good Morning America’s book club in October 2020. And if they loved it, I am sure you will too!
But wait, before you dive into this captivating story, let’s make sure you’re fully equipped to lead your own book club discussion.
I have compiled a list of thought-provoking book club questions for The Midnight Library that will help you and your fellow book clubbers ponder the big questions of life, death, and everything in between.
And in case you want a direct review of the book, we have a detailed blog post on The Midnight Library Book Review.
So, let’s get started!
The post might contain affiliate links. For more information, read our disclosure. Also, these questions contain spoilers.
The Midnight Library Book Club Questions
- The Midnight Library serves as a metaphor for the choices we make in life and the possibilities that exist beyond our current circumstances. Nora is able to explore different versions of her life and see how her choices have shaped her present circumstances. The library also highlights the importance of regret and the ways in which we can learn from our past mistakes.
Now, if The Midnight Library exists in your life, what are the life choices that you would make in order to get the life that you want?
- Nora’s attempt to take her own life is a reflection of her overwhelming sense of despair and hopelessness. While her struggles are relatable, it’s important to note that leaving this world is not a solution to life’s problems.
Instead, it’s important to face the scenarios in such situations? Do you agree?
- Nora witnesses the death of her mother and brother in her alternate realities. Was it justifiable of Nora to see the death of her family when she knew that it was inevitable or do you think it was too much for her?
- Mrs. Elm serves as a mentor and guide for Nora, helping her navigate the Midnight Library and understand the implications of the different lives she explores. Mrs. Elm also represents the importance of relationships and the impact that even small acts of kindness can have on someone’s life.
Do you have a person like Mrs. Elm in your life? If yes, who is she/he?
- In The Midnight library, we are told never to take things for granted, no matter how small it is. What are some unique retrospective moments in your life where you took such things for granted and paid the price?
- Nora is fired from her job just because she could not cheer herself up. Do you think employers should not forcefully inflict such harsh rules on their employees? Also, what are some bizarre rules that you think someone had to follow in his/her job?
- The main message of the story is that life is full of possibilities and that our choices have a significant impact on our present circumstances. It’s never too late to make a change and pursue the life we want, even if it means letting go of past regrets and mistakes. The story also highlights the importance of relationships and the ways in which small acts of kindness and compassion can have a profound impact on someone’s life.
Discuss whether the above conclusion is right or wrong.
- Do you think the Midnight Library should have granted Nora access to her ultimate life, or do you believe she made a mistake by trying to escape from reality?
- Imagine a sequel where, instead of just looking through books in the Midnight Library that contained her possible lives, Nora was allowed to view movies and be a part of a character in those movies.
Which 5 film characters do you think Nora would choose? You can include web series characters also.
- Nora, not teaching Leo the piano in one of her alternate realities, showed us a glimpse of regret and guilt. How do you think she should have handled the situation? What would you have done if you were at her place?
- When loss is the only truth in this world, why do we still grieve? What do you think provides us the motivation to keep going and not give up even in our darkest moments? Do you believe that Nora’s journey through the Midnight Library could be considered a metaphor for life in general, and if so, what would it represent?
- Nora enters alternate realities only to realize that many didn’t love her like the way she thought. In fact, many blamed her for their own imperfections. What’s your take on it and how do you think Nora could have coped up with this matter?
- Eventually, Nora discovers a life that she desperately desires to inhabit. Yet it isn’t long before disappointment begins to taint her newfound haven and forces her back into “The Midnight Library”. What’s your take on this? Do you think it is better to face the truth and move on or continue living in a state of ignorance?
- How do you justify Nora’s time-traveling journey? Do you think it is possible to go back in time and change the events that happened in the past? Did it remind you of the book The Time Machine by HG Wells?
If you liked this set of questions here are a few other options you can consider.
West With Giraffes: Embark on a gripping journey across America in “West with Giraffes.” Follow Woody, a determined misfit, as he forms extraordinary bonds amidst harrowing adventures and discovers how historical tragedies shape lives.
The Magnolia Palace: Step into the captivating world of Fiona Davis’ masterpiece, where two parallel storylines intertwine, inviting you to ponder societal shifts, the impact of wealth, and the rich tapestry of themes that breathe life into this spellbinding tale.
Atlas of the Heart: Get ready to dive into the incredible realm of human emotions with Brene Brown’s captivating book, “Atlas of the Heart.” Discover over 87 emotions, learn how to connect with others, and embark on a transformative journey.
The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue: Step into the mesmerizing world of V.E. Schwab’s novel, where a young woman bargains for eternal life, only to face the haunting consequence of being forgotten by everyone. Explore love, loss, and the allure of immortality with these thought-provoking book club questions.
The Golden Couple: Step into the tantalizing world of Marissa and Matthew Bishop, the picture-perfect couple whose flawless façade shatters when Marissa’s infidelity threatens their marriage. With secrets unraveling and a bigger danger looming, this rollercoaster ride of emotions is a must-read for anyone craving unexpected twists and urban intricacies.