I don't always know what moves me to pick up one book over another. It's a mystery that most readers can relate to. In this case, I was at the local library, recently renovated, just walking down aisles and letting words and color guide me. The smells, the shushes, the search: I love the library. The other day I had used the handy dandy card catalog to find some post-apocalyptic fiction to read...and I found this one, Good Morning Midnight by Lily Brooks-Dalton.
After finding a book that I am interested in, and don't tease me about this, I then go to Amazon and read about the book, read the reviews, look at similar titles. Amazon or some other book review site. I do this same type of reading for a movie I'm about to watch! lol My husband tells me that I'm wrong to do this! lol I tell him he's wrong for not doing it. 😄 Time is too precious to read crap novels...unless I choose them.
Lately I've been reading books by female authors. I'm sure this has alot to do with the fact that I'm not interested in violence, overt sex, thrill, testosterone. I'm interested in quiet, deep, indulgent, penetrating, character-driven, exquisite tenderness, poignant, poetic, ...exquisite. Surely there are thousands of excellent books by male authors that meet these guides; I've just decided to read females for awhile. I feel fed by them.
Good Morning, Midnight is a sci-fi post-apocalyptic book by a female.
He grudgingly begins including Iris in his daily routines, taking care of her physical needs, paying attention to her presence. Together the duo weather the deepest of the dark all-night winter days with very little conversation, but a growing connections in their shared desolation of the Arctic. Plenty of time for research, reading, resting, the situation is comfortable and relaxed for this unwitting duo... Augustine and Iris are not at all concerned when all radio and contact with the outside world stops cold the very day of the evacuation.
Augustine's musings, memories, reflections are deceptively quiet and drama-free considering this is a dystopian novel. Brooks-Dalton is a true poetess. One of my favorite of Augustine's musings is this: 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 lover. He preferred it that way.
On their way back from a Jovian moon scientific journey, the Earth space ship Aether* carries a crew of six, including the second voice in this narrative, Sully. Mission Specialist Sullivan is also in her idea of magnificent desolation: in a space ship two years from planet Earth. The crew had just visited several moons of Jupiter, leaving monitoring devices on the surfaces of some of those moons and Sully monitored those devices all day long, learning of the secrets of the Jovian system. During her regular monitoring of the sensors, Sullivan discovers that all radio communication from Earth has inexplicably stopped completely.
The journey back to Earth takes two years, during which time Sully reviews the many points of her life that led her to choose such a solitary project at that point in her life, when she had a young daughter and a husband. These introspective months move by for the crew as relationships become sharp, sleepy, pointed, rarified in the dark of space. Sullivan finds some comfort in the desolation of space during the journey. One of my favorite quotes from the exquisiteness that is Sully's musings is: she took in the overwhelming, infinite space that surrounded her. No beginning, no end, just this, forever. From here, the idea of Earth seemed like an illusion. How could something so verdant, so diverse and beautiful and sheltered, exist among all this emptiness?
I have to give this beautiful, haunting book eight stars.
You don't often refer to sci-fi as lovely.
I have not stopped thinking about it since I finished it.
* According to ancient and medieval science, aether also spelled æther or ether and also called quintessence, is the material that fills the region of the universe above the terrestrial sphere.