On the night eight year old Kirsten Raymonde watches famed actor Arthur Leander die onstage playing King Lear, life as she knows it changes forever. A flu pandemic is sweeping the world, killing people in a matter of days. Those who survived are left in a dangerous world with scarce resources and people rising up to take advantage of others. Kirsten eventually finds her way into the Travelling Symphony, actors and musicians who travel to different settlements acting out Shakespear's finest. The survivors that she meets range from good to neutral to bad, and some of them are strangely connected to Kirsten through the actor she once looked up to.
Station Eleven has been sitting in my TBR for a while and it was really interesting to read it during a pandemic seeing the similarities and differences between the fictional Georgian Flu and the very real COVID-19. The writing pulled me in and created a world I could easily imagine both pre and post pandemic. I really did enjoy the pacing with quick chapters that jumped back and forth between pre and post pandemic between the connected characters: Kirsten, Jeevan, Arthur, Arthur's wives, and Arthur's son. I enjoyed the Station Eleven comic and the character's different interpretations of it and how that led them to act differently in the post-pandemic world. It was interesting to see what people found value in when the world as we know it is changed; the arts, religion, the past of new beginnings that definitely created some deep introspective and reflective moments I didn't have any expectations going into this book, I didn't dislike anything about it, but it definitely left me wanting more.
This book was received for free in return for an honest review.