Good Morning, Midnight
Good Morning, Midnight is an atmospheric story told from the perspective of two flawed characters who have struggled with or avoided human connection most of their lives. From a remote arctic research station to the vast openness of space, the settings evoke a feeling of stillness and quiet that, as I sat reading, had the effect of blocking out the world around me.
Augustine and Sully are seemingly some of the last people left alive after an apocalyptic event. Sully is a mother and astronaut racing through space on her way back to earth after a two year mission aboard the Aether. The earth has gone quiet, at least in terms of human noise – no radio or electronic signals of any kind can be detected. Although Sully is not alone, the crew of the Aether have retreated inward, contemplating the fate of their loved ones back on earth. Augustine is the only researcher still at the arctic research station after refusing to evacuate with the rest of the group. Shortly after the evacuation, he discovers a young girl left behind. At first he feels resentful and burdened with the responsibility of caring for a child, but soon finds her quiet company comforting. Augustine, who is aging and ailing, must consider what will become of Iris (the young girl) once he is no longer around. Using the radio, he begins to reach out, hoping to find others still out there in the world. With a possibility of a future looking less and less likely, the characters begin to reflect on their past. Both Augustine and Sully have made choices in life that took them away from forming bonds and connections with people, even their own children. As the characters’ plot lines converge, coincidences and mysteries are revealed.
The only mystery not revealed is what has happened to the human race. Readers looking for a typical dystopian/ end of world science fiction may be disappointed by the leisurely pace and lack of explanation. What Good Morning, Midnight lacks in action, it makes up for with the author’s ability to arouse powerful emotions of lonesomeness, loneliness and longing with her compelling descriptions.