Midnight at the Electric
By Lodi Lynn Anderson
Genre: Historical Fiction/Kinda Science Fiction
Publication Date: June 13, 2017
Midnight at the Electric is set in three different decades with three different heroines that all have the same mission-save their future.
In 2065, Adri is set to fly to mars to start a new civilization because the earth’s resources are depleting and before her departure this orphan goes to meet and live her aunt for three months. Adri is a self proclaimed awkward girl with poor social skills and the beginning of her relationship with her aunt Lily is rocky but as they coexist, Adri and Lily form a touching friendship. Adri’s 107 year old aunt is suffering from dementia and is a tell-it-like-it-is woman. On Adri’s first night with Lily, she finds a picture of a woman which leads her to uncover her identity and takes Adri on a journey back in time.
Catherine lived in Lily’s house during the Dust Bowl of 1935. She’s a plain girl with not a lot of ambition but when her younger sister becomes ill from the dust, Catherine realizes that she needs to get out of Kansas. Everyone around Catherine including her mother and her crush refuses to leave their home and Catherine must make a difficult decision- leave Kansas with her sister or stay with her family. To avoid this decision, Catherine is mesmerized by a traveling carnival that features a ball of lightning that promises cure alls called Midnight at the Electric and Catherine believes this can save her sister.
Lenore is an English girl during the post WWI era. Her brother has died in the war and although she has other brothers and sisters, Lenore feels alone. She decides to save money to travel to Kansas to be with her best friend, Catherine’s mother. While she’s earning, she befriends a mysterious young man who’s face has been left deformed by the war.
This is a very simple story about three generations of women who must make drastic decisions that impact their futures and their families. Anderson retold this simple plot by featuring three different women who are all connected yet live in different decades and who are facing very different circumstances. I liked that Anderson began Midnight in the not so far future where this current generation has consciously used up the earth’s resources which ultimately makes this novel incredibly relevant. Midnight avoided tropes while introducing a new refreshing voice with Adri. This was a touching novel and I found myself really caring about all these women and the turtle.
If you are a librarian who is looking for an engaging discussion book for your teens, I highly recommend this.
Bang Bang Rating: 1/2