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Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel Book Review

Arthur Leander, a famous movie star, dies from a heart attack on stage during a production. Kristen Raymonde, a young child in the play, will never forget that night. For that night, the world dissolved. A devastating flu outbreak spread like wildfire, killing anyone infected within hours. Within weeks, civilization was no more.

Station Eleven switches between Arthur’s early days as a movie star and Kristen’s life after the pandemic, and her role in a theater group called the Traveling Symphony. While it roams the wastelands of this new earth, they run into a violent prophet set on having them join him or die.

If you’re someone who likes plot-driven reads, then this story isn’t for you. This book is not suspenseful. However, it’s themes snatched a part of me and refused to let go. Each page has a sharp insight that just grabs your attention and pounds around in your head. The main theme of this story is that it means more than just to survive. There are choices one must make that define character and how one belongs in the world.

Mandel does an amazing job creating this new world, complex characters, and situations that leave you breathless. Though after reading this, I do think I need to snuggle my boys closer and a nice warm cup of coffee. My emotions need a break.

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