a bookclique pick by Megan Brevard
Jodi Lynn Anderson‘s Midnight at the Electric delves into the relationships that make people into a family, and the love, loss and hope that they strive for in the face of adversity. Midnight is a magnificent book that haunts the reader long after the last page. The strength of the novel lies in the unique portrayal of three young adult women searching for hope and community.
The novel opens in 2065 and hope for the planet Earth lies in a colony on Mars. It is up to Adri, who has been selected to be a colonist, to explore life on Mars but before she makes her trip, she discovers a long lost relative. After meeting her relative, Adri comes to understand the past through historical notebooks in which a young girl, Catherine, describes the Dust Bowl in Oklahoma in 1934 that is threatening her family’s livelihood. Catherine is struggling to hold her family’s farm together in the face of the ecological damage and her desire to improve their family’s finances. Then, we go back in time again when Catherine finds letters from her mother’s English friend, Lenore.She has lost her brother in the war and wants to move to America in 1919 to escape her grief. Lenore’s world of post-WWI England is haunted by the millions of young men who died fighting in the trenches.
Although years apart, Adri, Catherine, and Lenore are on similar quests and all face personal dilemmas. Theirs are vivid stories of three women who have lost their way — whether from loss, fear or love — and are seeking a community and a family. Their different circumstances cause the characters to look internally for courage, and all three face their challenges with determination. While Jodi Lynn Anderson writes for young adults primarily, the beautiful characterizations in this novel will be appreciated by any reader who enjoys strong fictional characters.