Emily St. John Mandel
Penguin Random House
New York, New York
$ 15. 95
"I'm talking about these people who've ended up in one life instead of another and they are just so disappointed. Do you know what I mean? They've done what's expected of them. They want to do something different but it's impossible now, there's a mortgage, kids, whatever, they're trapped...You probably encounter people like him all the time. High-functioning sleepwalkers, essentially."
And so it begins.
How often is the world we live in one step away from annihilation? No, not a comet hitting the Yucatan peninsula, but one choice, one small event or virus that could change the way we live.
Have you ever seen an actor who left a lifetime impression on you? For Kirsten Raymonde, that person is Arthur Leander, who is a famous Hollywood actor. Unfortunately, she remembers Leander having a heart attack during a production of King Lear.
That same night was an unlucky night for many. As Leander is dying, many are just receiving a flu bug that will quickly become a global pandemic, ending the world as we know it, leaving alive only 1% of the global population.
After twenty years, Kirsten is part of a traveling group of actors and musicians sharing their art with the chosen ones who have survived. Life has changed substantially in twenty-years, deteriorating from a global world of communication and travel to basic day-to-day survival with the influence of a prophet.
Station Eleven is the fourth novel written by Emily St. John Martel and was a finalist for both the National Book Award and the Pen/Faulkner Award.
Station Eleven is about the people in how they interact in attempting to rebuild civilization. The idea of sharing music and theater in a survivalist society provides a bit of hope and light in this dim post-apocryphal tale.
The characterization in Station Eleven, I found hopeful with these diverse people who are often shallow to incredibly deep while learning to rebuild humanity, transportation, civilization, and a sense of belonging. The importance of being a part of a community and the need to be needed are embedded as the story alters between the past and the present.