Named One of the Best Books of 2016 by Chicago Review of Books and Shelf Awareness
Colson Whitehead's Favorite Book of 2016 (Esquire)
A haunting debut novel about the search for meaning at the edges of human civilization. Good Morning, Midnight is the unforgettable story of two outsiders grappling with love, sacrifice, and regret at the end of the world.
Augustine, a brilliant, aging astronomer, is consumed by the stars. For years he has scanned the universe, trying to look back at the beginning of time itself. When news of a catastrophic event arrives at his remote research center in the Arctic and the researchers are asked to evacuate, he insists on staying behind. Shortly after the others have gone, Augustine discovers a mysterious child, Iris, and realizes that 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. They are the first human beings to delve this deep into space, and so far the journey has been a success. But when Mission Control falls inexplicably silent, Sully and her crewmates are forced to confront the challenge of survival.
Isolated in the cold, barren sweep of the Arctic and the infinite vacuum of space, Augustine and Sully each face an uncertain future, looking back on the people they have loved and lost, the choices they have made, and the memories that persist in the hush of isolation. Against two forbidding yet beautiful landscapes, their stories gradually intertwine in a profound and unexpected conclusion.
With crystalline prose that evokes the awesome expanse of the universe, Good Morning, Midnight is a novel that poses the most important questions: What endures at the end of the world? How do we make sense of our lives? Lily Brooks-Dalton’s captivating debut is a stunning meditation on the power of love, and the bravery of the human heart.
“A truly original novel, otherworldly and profoundly human. This beautiful story reminds us of our deep longing for connection—with those we love, with strangers, with ourselves. We come to understand that, across time and distance, in the face of isolation and emptiness, it is tenderness and communication that keep us tethered to each other. This is a fascinating story, surprising and inspiring at every turn.”
—Keith Scribner, author of The GoodLife and The Oregon Experiment
“A beautifully written, sparse post-apocalyptic novel that explores memory, loss and identity … Fans of Emily St. John Mandel’s Station Eleven and Kim Stanley Robinson’s Aurora will appreciate the Brooks-Dalton’s exquisite exploration of relationships in extreme environments.”
“Beautiful, haunting … The descriptions of landscape in Good Morning, Midnight are stunningly gorgeous, from the frozen Arctic to the vastness of space, and the book contemplates the biggest questions—What is left at the end of the world? What is the impact of a life’s work?—through the very different, but undeniably connected, individual experiences of a man always looking up at the stars and a woman adrift among them. It’s a quiet novel, a post-apocalypse novel with no apocalypse, that stays with you long after the last page.”
“Good Morning, Midnight is a remarkable and gifted debut novel. Lily Brooks-Dalton is an uncanny chronicler of desolate spaces, whether it's the cold expanse of the universe or the deepest recesses of the human heart."
-Colson Whitehead, National Book Award winner
“What does it mean to be isolated from the ordinariness of the everyday world, yet to find the extraordinariness of being close to another human being? With imagination, empathy and insight into the unchanged and unchangeable human nature, Lily Brooks-Dalton takes us on an emotional journey in this beautiful debut.”
-Yiyun Li, PEN/Hemingway Award winner
“Slim but ambitious … an astute exploration of the ways that human beings develop in isolation. In Good Morning, Midnight, Brooks–Dalton writes beautifully about ambition, loss, grief, and, most compellingly, what it means to love and be loved. The novel moves nimbly between genres, flawlessly combining mystery, science fiction and the classic adventure story to form a truly literary novel that takes places in a society not so different from our own. With intricate multifaceted characters and an emotionally harrowing plot, Brooks-Dalton delivers a profound meditation on human connection.”
-Fredricksburg Free Lance-Star
“It takes a brave writer to leave the biggest questions unanswered, but Brooks-Dalton handles her unpulled threads masterfully … We tend to think of the end of the world as a bombastic event, massive and rife with destruction. “Good Morning, Midnight” gives us a different look … Technically, this could be considered a post-apocalyptic story, but the truth is that Brooks-Dalton has created something much more poignant … Powerful and moving, Good Morning, Midnight is an exceptional example of the literary power of speculative fiction.”
-The Maine Edge
“A post-apocalyptic novel that barely mentions the apocalypse … Part of the fun of the novel is seeing how Brooks-Dalton manages to weave these two seemingly disparate stories together, drawing her protagonists closer to each other by ingenious narrative and thematic means. Unlike plot-oriented science fiction novels such as The Martian, Good Morning, Midnight derives more tension from existential dread than dealing with equipment failures … Lily Brooks-Dalton puts much of her writerly energies into introspection, having her protagonists delve deep into their copious emotional baggage … Here, at the end of the world, Brooks-Dalton turns her protagonists' gaze inward.”-Shelf Awareness
“Ambitious …Brooks-Dalton’s prose lights up the page in great swathes, her dialogue sharp and insightful, and the high-concept plot drives a story of place, elusive love, and the inexorable yearning for human contact … Memorable characters explore complex questions that resonate with the urgency of a glimpse into the void.”
“Beautiful descriptions create a sense of wonder and evoke feelings of desolation … Brooks-Dalton’s heartfelt debut novel unfolds at a perfect pace as it asks readers what will be left when everything in the world is gone.”