Book Review: Good Morning, Midnight – Lily Brooks-Dalton

Book Review: Good Morning, Midnight – Lily Brooks-Dalton


Release Date:
10th December 2020
Publisher: Orion Books
Pages: 284
Find it on: Goodreads. BookDepository. Waterstones.
Source: The publisher kindly sent me a copy of this book to review
Rating: 3 stars

Synopsis

Augustine, a brilliant, aging astronomer, is consumed by the stars. For years he has lived in remote outposts, studying the sky for evidence of how the universe began. At his latest posting, in a research center in the Arctic, news of a catastrophic event arrives. The scientists are forced to evacuate, but Augustine stubbornly refuses to abandon his work. Shortly after the others have gone, Augustine discovers a mysterious child, Iris, and realizes the airwaves have gone silent. They are alone.

At the same time, Mission Specialist Sullivan is aboard the Aether on its return flight from Jupiter. The astronauts are the first human beings to delve this deep into space, and Sully has made peace with the sacrifices required of her: a daughter left behind, a marriage ended. So far the journey has been a success, but when Mission Control falls inexplicably silent, Sully and her crew mates are forced to wonder if they will ever get home.

As Augustine and Sully each face an uncertain future against forbidding yet beautiful landscapes, their stories gradually intertwine in a profound and unexpected conclusion. In crystalline prose, Good Morning, Midnight poses the most important questions: What endures at the end of the world? How do we make sense of our lives?

Review

Good Morning, Midnight is an end of the world story following two different characters as they attempt to survive. Augustine is an astronomer living in a remote research facility who refused to evacuate with the rest of the scientists. Left alone he soon discovers a child named Iris who has been left behind. All alone Augustine must learn to care for the child and ensure their survival. Sully is a Mission Specialist onboard the ship Aether as it returns from a research mission on Jupiter. With no contact with Earth below them, they question what has happen on Earth and if the team will ever get home.

This book is a difficult one to review because in all honesty I wanted to love it. The prose is absolutely beautiful and I really liked the messages and themes of the story but overall it just didn’t quite hit the mark for me. Good Morning, Midnight is a very quiet novel, there isn’t a whole lot of plot as the story is very much focused on Augustine and Sully as they attempt to understand what has happened to Earth and reflect on the mistakes they have made in life.

The ending of the book is very vague and I think that’s part of the reason I didn’t give this one a higher rating. It is a very unique take on the post-apocalyptic story but I was waiting for something more to happen. I really liked the two drastically different situations and reading about the harsh realities of life in the Arctic versus life in space. The stand out for me would be the complex characters Brooks-Dalton has created. It was fascinating seeing them reflect on the lives they have led and understand what will become of them.

If you’re looking for a beautifully written, character driven story this could be just the thing you’re looking for. There’s also a recent Netflix adaption that I can’t wait to watch!

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