As I think through some of the most discussion-worthy books my club has read over the years, Good Morning, Midnight, by Lily Brooks-Dalton comes to mind. A literary sci-fi, with a haunting apocalyptic theme that’s vague yet realistic, the story sticks with you long after the last page. I had the pleasure of interviewing Lily a few years ago, just before the book was published. You can check out that interview here: An Interview with Lily Brooks-Dalton.
It’s worth noting that the film version of the book titled The Midnight Sky released in 2020. While I haven’t seen George Clooney’s vision for the story, your book club could mix it up a little, have movie night, and compare the book with the film! Either way, here are some questions to help guide your discussion…
- Sometimes a setting is so integral to the story that feels almost like a character. How did the novel’s setting, both in the Arctic and in space, contribute to the overall atmosphere of the story? In what ways did the harsh environments impact the characters?
- What survival instincts did you observe in the characters? How did the struggle for survival shape their decisions and actions?
- How did the characters grapple with both hope and despair throughout the novel? Did their attitudes toward hope change throughout the narrative?
- The novel alternates between Augustine’s story on Earth and Sully’s journey in space. How did this dual narrative structure contribute to the overall storytelling? Did you prefer one perspective over the other?
- Were you satisfied with the ending, or were there aspects you wished were explored further?
- Explore the characters’ motivations and any regrets they may have expressed. How did these motivations shape their decisions, and did you find their choices relatable or understandable?