What a beautifully written book about the collapse of humanity. Sounds crazy, right?
A flu starts to spread. People die quickly, and in massive numbers. Life as we know it ends. But a new way of life begins.
The beginning terrified me. The thought of a flu that deadly spreading that fast, with no way to stop it. I read another “flu epidemic” book last year and Station Eleven just felt more real and believable.
Part of that might be attributed to the setting. The “future” part of the book takes place in Michigan. Places like Traverse City, Petoskey and Mackinaw City are mentioned. When I read the line about the Mackinac Bridge, I had to pause for a moment. I’ve spent a lot of time in northern Michigan so it was easy for me to picture exactly what Mandel was describing. (I understand this varies by reader.)
I love how this book reminds the reader about what was lost in the collapse. Sure, you might think about living without the internet, without electricity. But ice cream. Baseball. Even adding milk to tea.
I also love how the book jumps two decades into the future – so many apocalyptic novels (at least the ones I read) deal solely with the immediate aftermath.
Overall an emotional, immersive book.