Good Morning, Midnight

Good Morning, Midnight - Lily Brooks-Dalton Good Morning, Midnight is one of those books that are hard to officially review. It's a book that you remember not so much for the text that it contains within, but for the experience you had when reading it. Even though it's a post-apocalyptic work, it isn't one that is filled with dangers and a dramatic struggle against nature or the savage remains of humanity.

Good Morning, Midnight is quiet. It's a book that sinks you into a vacuum where sounds, thoughts, even lights don't seem to penetrate. You don't think about what you're reading, you just read it. The atmosphere the author sets settles into your mind and into your bones. It calms you down and makes you pay attention.

Lily Brooks-Dalton gives us a great main character in Augustine, who is your typical old grumpy geezer in many ways. He's lived a full life, but not necessarily a good one. He's anti-social to the extreme - one would think there's probably some sort of spectrum or personality disorder going on. And he's obstinate. So obstinate and anti-social, in fact, that he'd rather be left behind on a remote base in the Artic than have to put up with anybody.

Good Morning, Midnight is Augustine's view of the world after it ends. He's an intelligent man, and it swiftly becomes clear to him that the life in the Arctic station might very well be the only life that's left. Needless to say, he has plenty of time to reflect on his past life. Now that nothing in the future matters, there's only the past to look at.

But that's not all it is. At the same time, Good Morning, Midnight tells the story of a group of astronauts on the return journey home from a trip to the Jovian moons. From joviality to despair, and all the steps in between, it leads you through a very real feeling journey of what you would do when your only link with Earth goes completely dead.

Watching Augustine's mind - his growth - is fascinating. Sinking into life on a spaceship where everyone knows they might not have anything to return to, but can't help but hope is engrossing. Seeing how Lily Brooks-Dalton weaves the two stories together in Good Morning, Midnight will keep you thoroughly engaged. In a time when you can't look to the future, or find anything to depend on except yourself and each other, she points out the things that really matter.

And then she pulls something at the very end that violently jerks you out of your calm, quiet place, and makes you say several not-very-nice words at the pages. You can't help but immediately narrow your eyes, skip back through to see what you missed, and finally insist that other people read this book and NOW. Because you need to know if you're the only one who didn't see it coming.

So, yes, Good Morning, Midnight is an excellent read and I insist you read it now. Please.