Title: Station Eleven
Author: Emily St. John Mandel
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday
Copyright Date: 2014
An actor dead on the stage. A life of broken promises and fleeting love. A world on the brink of collapse. This is how prolific author, Emily St. John Mandel opens this post-apocalyptic tale. The Georgia Flu has spread to every continent and killed many in its wake. As the pandemic strikes, it silently destroys lives and society.
Twenty years after Arthur Leander dies on stage during a production of King Lear, a child actress, Kirsten, is now grown and touring what is left of the eastern US with a traveling orchestra and Shakespeare company. In a world made destitute by a violent illness it is the arts that bring the people joy and reminders of what life used to be. Kirsten believes the violence of the earlier years are behind them as society tries to rebuild a semblance of civilization. But returning to a town where her best friend was left to deliver a child, Kirsten learns that the violence of the past has taken on a new look– he calls himself The Prophet.
Events of this eerie tale move along a non-linear structure. The author leaves clues and connections throughout the text to point readers toward the way in which all the characters and subplots coincide. Written long before our current pandemic, this tale brings to light the ways in which we are all connected and how we must learn to trust one another and rebuild the world we live in.
I read this novel as part of my masters program, but I recommend it for anyone who enjoys the post-apocalyptic genre. There are parts in the opening chapters that may be triggering to people affected by Covid-19. At first, I wasn’t sure I would be able to read the whole book, but the story moved quickly from the onset of the pandemic to its future impact on society.
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The Ameri Brit Mom