Quiet yet incredibly beautiful and emotional, New York Times best-selling author Jodi Lynn Anderson’s Midnight at the Electric is an expertly-crafted must-read character piece.
About ‘Midnight at the Electric’
Kansas, 2065 Adri has been handpicked to live on Mars. But weeks before Launch, she discovers the journal of a girl who lived in her house over a hundred years ago, and is immediately drawn into the mystery surrounding her fate. While Adri knows she must focus on the mission ahead, she becomes captivated by a life that’s been lost in time…and how it might be inextricably tied to her own.
Oklahoma, 1934 Amidst the fear and uncertainty of the Dust Bowl, Catherine longs for the immortality promised by a professor at a traveling show called The Electric. But as her family’s situation becomes more dire — and the suffocating dust threatens her sister’s life — Catherine must find the courage to sacrifice everything she loves in order to save the one person she loves most.
England, 1919 In the recovery following World War One, Lenore tries to come to terms with her grief for her brother, a fallen British soldier, and plans to sail to America in pursuit of a childhood friend. But even if she makes it that far, will her friend be the person she remembers, and the one who can bring her back to herself?
While their stories spans thousands of miles and multiple generations, Lenore, Catherine, and Adri’s fates are entwined in ways both heartbreaking and hopeful.
‘Midnight at the Electric’ book review
Sometimes it’s the simplest stories that are the most powerful. Books with epic will they/won’t they love stories or huge battles are great, but it’s small-scale personal stories that really grip the heart and don’t let go. Midnight at the Electric is the perfect example of quiet yet powerful storytelling.
I’ll have to admit: Going into reading this novel, the summary intrigued me but left me a little underwhelmed. I wasn’t sure what kind of story I was walking into. Was it sci-fi-leaning? Did it deal with time travel? The blurb about Adri’s life really threw me off and felt a little out-of-place with the more historical blurbs. But I’m almost glad it did because nothing could have prepared me for how much I’d love this novel.
Midnight at the Electric is written in both third-person narrative and first-person narrative by way of uncovered diary entries and letters. The book is almost written in a “rabbit hole” kind of way where you just keep getting sucked further and further into each girl’s story as you’re also moving further and further back in time. The flow from the “present day” of the story to the diary entries to the letters works so well that, when the novel finally makes its way back around to “present day,” it almost feels like the reader has been sitting next to and reading these pieces of history alongside Adri the whole time.
In terms of characters, Adri, Catherine, and Lenore’s stories are so well done that they feel like real people. A slow-moving character piece, this book takes intimate looks at each young woman’s drives, loves, and fears and draws connections from the past to the “present.” There came a point in reading the novel where I even started to have physical reactions (like heartache and longing) for the young woman and their situations. It’s not everyday that a novel evokes a physical reaction, but I guess it’s not every day that someone write a novel as fabulous as Midnight at the Electric.
Without giving anything away, I will say that the novel’s final resolution is one that requires a bit of time to sit and process (but in the best way possible). While the end isn’t anything groundbreaking, the message is so simple and yet so profound. Every detail of each young woman’s life had been leading to a similar message and it’s their journey that makes it so incredibly powerful. So much so that you’ll find yourself trying to apply that message to your own life. Many times, I judge books on their ability to stay on my mind for hours or even days after reading them. Midnight at the Electric did that (and is still doing that) with ease.
I don’t want to say anything more about this novel because it honestly speaks so eloquently and perfectly for itself, but I will say that Jodi Lynn Anderson’s Midnight at the Electric is one of the most beautiful and powerful books you’ll read this year. Adri, Catherine, and Lenore may not be famous or live incredibly exciting lives, but their stories are anything but ordinary. Quiet yet powerful, this is one novel you won’t want to put down (even after you’ve finished it).