Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel

For someone who does not usually read apocalyptic novels, to read two in a row and enjoy them both, I would say that this is a breakthrough of sorts. This was chosen as a book club read and had been on my list for a while. I first heard of Station Eleven when it was long listed for Canada Reads.

After reading a couple of chapters, I was compelled to keep reading and it wasn't just to be finished in time for our book club meeting. The time period jumps back and forth, mostly before the "collapse" to year 20 (after the collapse). The reader needs to pay attention with regard to who is who in each time period and I did find myself having to go back a few times to make sure I knew where I was, (Hollywood, New York, Toronto) and who the character was.

Why was it so compelling?

1. I thought the characters were original and realistic. Not the typical characters I would imagine for this type of book. I loved the idea of the traveling symphony and of course, there's Arthur, who is charismatic, flawed and the hub of all of the characters. The connections between the characters and how those connections are made known was very intriguing.

2. It made me think of the bigger questions. This is not so far fetched. Could this really happen? Yes! What would I do? Where would I go? Would I be able to survive? Would I be able to help others and if so, how? It also made me think of how much I take for granted and how unprepared I would actually be.

3. The whole concept of "Station Eleven" is not what I thought it would be. I thought it was very clever how it tied into the story.

During our book club discussion, we talked about the characters, the small communities formed and how realistic or unrealistic we thought their reactions and progress was. We also asked the question, if you found yourself in the same predicament what would you miss the most? The book gave us a lot to talk about so I would recommend it for a book club for sure.

A thought provoking read.

Bookworm Rating: 🐛🐛🐛🐛

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