The world of Station Eleven weaves past, present, and future in a post-apocalyptic narrative where other humans are both humanity’s saviors and its nightmare.
Emily St. John Mandel’s fourth book, Station Eleven, is a literary twist on the science fiction genre. Primarily set in northern Michigan twenty years after an epidemic of the “Georgian Flu” decimates society, the reader joins a traveling symphony and group of players whose motto reflects the times: “because survival is insufficient.” With them we meet Kristen Raymonde, a young woman whose childhood role in a Toronto staging of King Lear forever links her to the other characters in the novel and ultimately allows her to prevent catastrophe. Station Eleven jumps backward and forward through time, all while merging different narrative styles and viewpoints, allowing the reader to encounter the characters throughout their lives and see how they all fare in the face of a society swept back into the Dark Ages. It is a book that is hard to put down and, although the potential of a global epidemic strikes close to home in a world ravaged by Ebola and Rika, is ultimately hopeful.