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Book four was recommended by a complete stranger that came into work a couple of weeks ago. Her book club was reading a post-apocalyptic/ post-plague book called Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel. It’s a fairly new book by an author I’d never heard of, but I tend to either like or loathe that sort of novel, so I checked it out of our local library.

The novel jumps around in time, both pre- and post- plague, and follows several very different characters. Among these is the aging actor who dies in the first pages, the EMT who performed CPR, and the child actress who saw the whole thing. During and after the fall of civilization, the child is now a part of a traveling group of performers, the EMT hides out with his brother, and a frightening “prophet” with a mysterious background comes into the picture.

Recommendations from strangers tend to be a mixed bag. I was surprised by how much I enjoyed the book. Unlike many apocalyptic novels, this one didn’t dwell on the horrors that humans inflict upon each other in such times. The horrors are there, but the novel focuses instead on how people coped as reality set in and people decided how to survive the loss of nearly everything. The skipping around in time was skillfully done; there was no point in the novel where I had to stop and figure out what was happening. The ending happened quickly, and I was left hoping that she writes a sequel; not because I was left with questions, but because I enjoyed the story.

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