book cover for Station Eleven

A strain of flu creates an apocalyptic world, one where technology and modern comforts are seldom seen as the norm. Amid this new world are a group of traveling actors, a symphony of men and women who have survived the pandemic that altered their world.

Kirsten, a young survivor of the Georgia Flu, is now with the Travelling Symphony, a group of traveling performers of Shakespeare. She was only 8 years old when the Georgia Flu began.

Now, as a 28-year-old adult, she has three knife tattoos—which represent how many people she’s killed.

The night of the pandemic, a famous Shakespearean actor dies of a sudden heart attack. This man, one Arthur Leander, is someone that gave Kirsten the first issue of the graphic novel Station Eleven.

As the novel travels back and forth through time between Before and After the Georgian Flu, the narratives from different characters reveals the scope of humanity at each time in history, as well as the present day.

Without revealing too much, I have to say that this book is eerily similar in response to how some people—especially where I live—view Covid19: Some people believe in the reality of the illness, other poo-poo it. (I’m a liberal living in a conservative area of Minnesota, unfortunately.)

Station Eleven the graphic novel grounds Kirsten, giving her something to look forward to as she travels from place to place in this new world. Station Eleven as a novel transports me out of the world I’m living in, though it’s interesting to see how Emily St. John Mandel imagined people would experience and respond to a widespread pandemic.

If you like reading about pandemics, and if you like imaginative graphic novels, this book is for you.

Please continue to stay safe, wherever you are in the world. I hope and pray we’ll pull through this together.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

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