Station Eleven; Emily St. John Mandel
Random House Audio
I tend to shy away from dystopian / post apocalyptic stories, it's just not my thing, but this book has been receiving such favorable reviews that I wanted to give it a try. The audio book, read by Kirsten Potter is so well done and easy to follow.
The story opens with a well know actor performing King Lear on stage. The actor, Arthur Leander is stricken with a heart attack on stage. An EMT in the audience, Jeevan Chaudhary jumps to his aid to perform CPR, but is unable to save him. Although the curtains close while this is happening, a young eight year old actress named Kirsten Raymonde watches in horror.
In another part of the town at the exact same time people are dying of an unusual flu outbreak. Before too long, 99% of the population had died off. Meanwhile, Jeevan and his brother are holed up an apartment, hoping to steer clear of the virus.
Fast forward fifteen years and the child actress Kirsten, now a young woman is performing with a Traveling Symphony. The group travels to various locals to perform for some individuals have managed to survive the pandemic. In one particular village they cross paths with a violent prophet who believes the pandemic was a sort of cleansing, and that he and his followers are the light of what is left of the old world.
The story moves back and forth in time, describing life before and after the outbreak. The author shines in her descriptiveness of the characters and the events which have occurred, and the overall feeling is mostly optimistic. It's a story about the relationships that keep us going when all seems lost. Station Eleven gives readers plenty to think about. I'm happy I gave this one a try.