For readers of Station Eleven and The Snow Child, Lily Brooks-Dalton’s haunting debut is the unforgettable story of two outsiders—a lonely scientist in the Arctic and an astronaut trying to return to earth—as they grapple with love, regret, and survival in a world transformed.
Have you ever both loved and hated a book? Loved because it left you drunk with fascination, and hated because you were the one that didn’t write it?
Say hello to Good Morning Midnight, a beautiful spin on your run of the mill dystopian fiction novel. The author, Lily Brooks-Dalton, writes with such beautiful prose that I often stopped before moving on to the next page, savoring the phrase that had just latched its hooks into me.
“Only the cosmos inspired great feeling in him. Perhaps what he felt was love, but he’d never consciously named it. His was an all-consuming one-directional romance with the emptiness and the fullness of the entire universe. There was no room to spare, no time to waste on a lesser love. He preferred it that way.”
The story is told from two alternating perspectives during a period of catastrophic uncertainty. Augustine, a brilliant, aging astronomer who’s been stranded in the Arctic after stubbornly refusing to evacuate with the rest of his team. And Sully, an astronaut aboard the Aether, the first of it’s kind to visit and land on Jupiter. Her crew is on a return trip home to Earth, an Earth that is nothing like the home they left behind.
This novel reminds me of both Station Eleven and the films Arrival and Interstellar, in that that the story is more focused on the relationships and interactions between characters than the plot itself. Hauntingly beautiful inner workings of the characters’ minds and larger than life descriptions of the atmosphere and settings. I found myself feeling the need to climb inside of this book.
I wanted to touch the words and feel the silence of outer space for myself.
It was that good. There was something so pure about exploring the themes of loneliness and regret through the eyes of Augustine and Sully. So genuinely real that it formed a heavy pang in my chest. While the story leaves many questions unanswered it manages to also answer many in return. I didn’t want Good Morning, Midnight to end and as a result, I feel myself falling into a deep book hangover.