Good Morning, Midnight by Lily Brooks-Dalton

img_3286“On his best days the blank canvas of the landscape set him at ease; on his worst days he contemplated madness. The land did not care for him and there was nowhere else to go. He wasn’t sure yet which sort of day today was.”

Good Morning, Midnight follows two storylines that inevitably connect and intertwine. The first one is that of an aging astronomer named Augustine who refuses to evacuate his latest post in the Arctic after news of a catastrophic event. Not long after the evacuation, he discovers a mysterious child named Iris and finds that the two of them are completely alone as the airwaves have gone dead silent. During this time there is a crew of six astronauts on a return flight from Jupiter, from what has been a successful mission. They are the first to make such an extensive journey into space and each have made personal sacrifices to do so. Not long after they embark on the long journey back to Earth, Mission Control falls silent and they are not sure if they will ever reach home or what awaits them if they do.

“This moment, Sully, this is where we must live.”

I found this to be a beautifully written novel that examines feelings of loneliness, isolation, love, belonging, and connection through characters that face an uncertain future. The circumstances and emotions of their present situations are powerfully conveyed, and we are also taken back to past moments through flashbacks from Augustine as well as Mission Specialist Sullivan. This aspect of the book is compelling on its own, however there is also an element of suspense as the two stories progress with the question of how everything will come together and conclude. A truly unique and exceptional novel.

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