My most recent favorite read has been Station Eleven, by Emily St. John Mandel. You know I love my post-apocolyptic novels set in the near future, and this one is even better because there are no zombies in it! Mandel's story follows Kirsten, a 23-year-old woman who performs in the Traveling Symphony, moving from settlement to settlement in a world devastated by a pandemic. The Georgia Flu (country, not state) decimated the world's population, and the Symphony lives by the creed, 'Because survival is insufficient.' Kirsten and her pack perform Shakespeare and play Beethoven concertos for small camps around the Great Lakes. Woven throughout this plot is Kirsten's backstory, which involves the wildly successful Arthur Leander, his wife, and best friend.
It's a tightly-written book that left me feeling unsettled- in the best way. It's magical to be transported by an idea that feels dangerously plausible; poor JP was reminded several times of our emergency plan, and I'm still feeling the urge to stock our basement with extra canned goods and blankets so that we'll be prepared for an event like the one in Station Eleven. Mandel dives into what's worth saving in life, what luck and hard work really provide for us, and the ties that bind us all.