My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Station Eleven reminds us of the fragility of our lives, our society and our civilization. How, despite the deep cuts we have made in the earth, mountains we have razed, rivers dammed, and species erased, we are just visitors here.
But in telling the story of relinquishing our hold on the planet, Mantel also weaves a tale of the essense of humanity that binds us together.
I cannot praise this book enough. I enjoyed every moment of it. Whenever my attention began to waver the perspective or time-period would shift, either giving new insights or making my heart ache with the sadness of another character’s loss.
The novel is written like an intricate spiderweb, with characters connecting around Arthur, an actor who dies in the opening scene of the novel. He becomes an anchor for all the different elements of the story, and at times I felt like I was peeping into someone’s real life, not the lives to characters in a novel about the apocalypse.
I honestly can’t say a bad word about this book. I let it all sink in for a day, and I just can’t stop thinking about the questions it raises. The story tugs at the edges of my thoughts, refusing to let me go.
There are many wonderful quotes (including the most memorable final sentence I have read in a while), a couple of favourites are:
“A fragment for my friend –
If your soul left this earth I would follow and find you
Silent, my starship suspended in night”
“You don’t think he likes his job then.”
“Correct.” she said, “but I think he even realises it. You probably encounter people like him all the time. High-functioning sleepwalkers, essentially.”
“First we only want to be seen, but once we’re seen, that’s not enough anymore. After that, we want to be remembered.”
“He likes the thought of ships moving over the water, towards another world just out of sight.”
5 stars is almost not enough for this book, and I can’t recommend it highly enough.