Station Eleven, a 2014 National Book Award Finalist, was on my to-read list for quite a while and I don’t know why it took me so long to read it. I’m so glad I finally immersed myself in this beautiful story about a Hollywood actor who dies from a heart attack in Toronto just as the Georgia flu is spreading around the world. The flu pandemic kills 99 percent of the population and the world is changed forever. Fifteen years later there is a group of traveling musicians and actors who risk their lives traveling by foot to bring art to other apocalypse survivors. It is an incredibly moving story that goes back and forth in time, from decades before to decades after the apocalypse, to show us not only what life was like before the flu struck but also to show us how people move on from a pandemic like that. What do we do if our life and our world is changed so completely in an instant? Where do we find meaning? How do we move on?
St. John Mandel’s writing is fantastic and I felt like I was right there with all of the characters in their post-apocalyptic world. I didn’t want to put this book down and I can definitely see myself reading this one again. I also want to read her previous novels, all of which can be found on her website.