Book Reviews, Quotes

Why one novel will help you savor life

A book review of Station Eleven

Some events occur during our lifetimes that are so profound we experience them as a before and an after: The life before and after the death of a child, the life before and after the loss of a spouse, the life before and after a debilitating illness.

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Station Eleven is a beautifully written book that explores the aftermath of a pandemic that upends the world order. The author, Emily St. John Mandel, jumps back and forth in time, painting a compassionate portrait of strong and flawed characters before and after the collapse of civilization. The story includes scenes of action as well as passages that prompt introspection.

At first blush, it may seem like the book’s topic would be less than comforting. But that is one of the surprises of this novel. Ultimately, it is the story of human resilience, art, and an acknowledgment that even if our time on earth is limited, our impact on the lives of others may carry on even after we are gone.

It is a haunting novel that is hard to put down. I finished it too soon, but I still find myself meditating on its themes.

If you’ve read Station Eleven what did you think? And what books would you recommend?

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