If anyone comes to me for a summer reading recommendation—and this never happens, honestly, in large part because I work from home and then spend my nights in the company of two children and a dog, plus a woman whose knowledge of the publishing arena dwarfs mine—my immediate answer would be Station Eleven. Ms. Mandel’s book has been widely lauded, and justifiably so. It is smart and moves quickly, and while there is much to praise about it, I was most impressed by the way in which the post-apocalyptic story unfolds, effortlessly moving back and forth from the days before and after a new flu strain quickly wipes out most of the world’s population.
This book’s non-chronological story-telling reminded me of the movie Pulp Fiction. The way Mandel orders her scenes is not the obvious choice, but after you read the book, it feels like the only way this story could have been told. Great stuff.