Midnight at the Electric
by Anderson, Jodi Lynn

In the months before her one-way trip to Mars, Adri Ortiz is sent to Wichita to live with a elderly cousin and finds herself fixating on where she came from and the stories of two women who lived more than a hundred years earlier.

*Starred Review* All her life, 17-year-old Adri's been preparing to be a Mars colonist, so when she must leave behind her home in Miami, thanks to rising ocean levels, she doesn't mourn too much, since she's been ready to leave the whole planet behind for years. Her sense of detachment wavers, though, when she's placed with Lily, her elderly, last living relative, in the months leading up to her one-way trip to Mars. In Lily's ancient Kansas farmhouse, Adri finds shreds of clues about her past, including enigmatic letters and journals and, oddly, a Galápagos tortoise. Now cold, prickly Adri finds herself fixated on where she came from-particularly the stories of two women, Catherine, who lived in Lily's house during the Dust Bowl, and Lenore, who lived in England during WWI-just as she's about to leave it all behind for good. As Anderson beautifully weaves together Adri's, Catherine's, and Lenore's stories, each of the three women come vividly to life through distinct voices and behaviors. Their stories have parallels-environmental devastation, leaving home behind, and finding a new one-but they're all deployed with determined subtlety, and the resolutions, while never tidy, are tantalizingly satisfying. With quietly evocative writing, compellingly drawn characters, and captivating secrets to unearth, this thought-provoking, lyrical novel explores the importance of pinning down the past before launching into the mystery of the future. Copyright 2017 Booklist Reviews.

In the year 2065, 16-year-old Adri Ortiz is one of the hardworking, talented few chosen to colonize Mars. Adri's an orphan with ties to no one, but the Latina teen understands the importance of interpersonal cooperation, so she doesn't complain when the head of the Mars program sends her to live with a long-forgotten cousin near the space center in Wichita for the months leading up to the launch. Lily, the cousin, is 107, passing into dementia, and more eager to know Adri than Adri is to know her. But Adri is intrigued by a postcard she finds in the farmhouse, written in 1920 and mentioning the Galápagos tortoise who still lives on the farm (and is herself named Galápagos). The story shifts to diary-keeper Catherine, a hardscrabble white teen living on the same farm in 1934, at the height of the Dust Bowl. Catherine's little sister Beezie is dying from dust pneumonia, and their mother, a widow, seems locked into helplessness. Again the story shifts-now it's E ngland, 1919, and white Leonore is mourning both her brother's loss in the Great War and the friend who left for America years before, to whom she writes. Galápagos ties the stories together as all three young women fight for self-determination, love, their futures, and the realization that you can never move forward freely until you have something important to leave behind. Deft, succinct, and ringing with emotion without ever dipping into sentimentality, Anderson's novel is both intriguing and deeply satisfying. (Science/historical fiction. 12-adult) Copyright Kirkus 2017 Kirkus/BPI Communications. All rights reserved.

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