Station Eleven & Sea Of Tranquility
I (S) have always been attracted to dystopian novels, from as far back as I can remember. There’s something about their darkness that intrigues me — especially when the stories they tell could in fact come true. However, I had never read any @emilystjohnmandel until earlier this year when Station Eleven was recommended to me and, well, I haven’t looked back. And Chaya, who hadn’t delved so deeply into the dystopic as yours truly, felt exactly the same.
It’s hard to sum up the impact that these two books had on us as readers. Firstly, stories aside, they are both meticulously and magically crafted, a testament to St John Mandel’s skill as an author. They deal with huge concepts as well as the tiniest details shifting from past to present to future, seamlessly. The writing itself is lyrical, poetic at times but it’s short and sharp, with quickly paced chapters.
Secondly, the stories — both made us look at the world around us differently, particularly Station Eleven — a world where the things we know and take for granted have become almost relic-like. The fact that it is all set after a global pandemic is, of course, chilling too.
The Sea of Tranquility is perhaps the quieter of the two but no less beautiful and thought provoking. The layering of time is Matrix-like as worlds shift and shape, interconnecting across the centuries in ways that will leave your jaw dropping to the proverbial floor.
All in all, one superb author, two stunning novels plus a few more on her backlist that we are both looking forward to getting stuck into. If that’s not good news for a Monday morning, what on Earth is?! You’re welcome ~ S & C