Thoughts on books, family, and life in one impressive package.

MIdnight Sun by Stephenie Meyer

I was 30 years old when I read the Twilight series, and I fell hard for the series. For all its faults, I fell in love with Bella and Edward’s story. Not only did I see aspects of my teenage self in Bella’s awkwardness and self-esteem issues, but I also saw parts of my relationship with my husband in Bella’s and Edward’s interactions. I never really lost my love for the series even as it became rather gauche to admit it. So, when the news broke that Stephenie Meyer was finally releasing Midnight Sun, I preordered the novel that day. There was no way I was going to miss another chance to visit Forks and finally see the world through Edward’s eyes.

Given my feelings for the original story, I suspect there is some bias here, but I thoroughly enjoyed Midnight Sun. Seeing Edward’s anxiety and fears as he struggles to make sense of his feelings simply confirmed my love for him. More importantly, Ms. Meyers addresses the more problematic aspects of his behavior towards Bella in a way that feels genuine to both characters while acknowledging that the behavior is bordering on stalkerish.

What surprises me the most is that I feel Ms. Meyer’s writing now has a maturity to it that is missing in the rest of the series. I know Midnight Sun is a novel she struggled to write for years. Seeing her writing now, I surmise she struggled because she needed more life experience and maturity in order to capture Edward’s voice. After all, he is 104 years old. Whatever changed, whatever allowed her to write Edward’s story after all these years, it works. Edward’s voice is appropriately mature and world-weary with elements of confusion and befuddlement that are simply adorable.

I find Edward’s mindscape fascinating. His guilt and his excessive situational analysis are exhausting, but they shed so much light on the face he shows the world. Plus, we see how busy his mind is fielding through other’s minds, having entire dialogues without speaking a word, and being privy to Alice’s visions. In addition, he begins to view himself in light of human behavior after decades of not doing so. All of it makes for a very mind-bogglingly complex mind that constantly thinks of worst-case scenarios rather than hopeful ones. No wonder he comes across as overbearing and overprotective at times!

As Midnight Sun draws to a close at the same point where Twilight does, my biggest wish is that Ms. Meyer would write the rest of the series from his point of view. After the torture of New Moon from Bella’s viewpoint, it is only fair we see Edward’s anguish and heartbreak as well. I know this is simply a pipe dream on my part, but I do not want to say good-bye to Edward’s mind. It rounds out the story in a way I did not know I was missing. In the meantime, I thoroughly enjoyed my time in Forks again and hope it is not another fifteen years before another visit.

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