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Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel
Published by Knopf on September 9, 2014
my rating: ★★★★ (4 stars)
Goodreads avg: 4.05 (as of 2020-02-07)
Jeevan was crushed by a sudden certainty that this was it, that this illness Hua was describing was going to be the divide between a before and an after, a line drawn through this life.
This was certainly… timely to read during the COVID-19 pandemic. It was actually eerie at points — although thankfully what we’re living through is much less severe. I had actually been given this in March (a week before lockdown!) and am glad I put off reading it until things had calmed down a bit.
The book itself is incredibly readable. St. John Mandel creates realistic characters in a world that feels true to life. It’s really difficult to describe what the story is ‘about’, as it runs the gamut as far as content goes and utilizes flashbacks heavily. If you dislike non-linear storytelling, this definitely won’t be for you. But it’s not your typical dystopian story, and I really appreciated the author’s creativity here. This felt like nothing I’ve read before and while at times I felt a bit like I was just waiting to see where things went, I was never bored. It was also hauntingly beautiful at times. Seeing how the characters were interconnected and following their stories was magical, even when it was tragic. Bits that seemed irrelevant eventually became important — although some bits did seem irrelevant to the end.
Overall, I really enjoyed this and am glad I finally got around to it!