Sea of Tranquility – Emily St. John Mandel

Another brilliant book by Ms. Mandel, a sweeping epic that spans from Vancouver Island in 1912 to a moon colony in 2401. Intriguingly, there are links to Mandel’s previous novel, The Glass Hotel, and to post-pandemic literature in general. And there is an author on a book tour and a time traveller. Absorbing and immersive, this is a fantastic futuristic novel that eerily captures our current reality. Highly recommended.

The Glass Hotel – Emily St. John Mandel

It is a tribute to Ms. Mandel’s skill as a writer (previous book, the brilliant Station Eleven) that a story about a Ponzi scheme in the economic collapse of 2009 can be both compelling and engaging. It is the psychology of fascinating inter-related characters that is so intriguing: the willingness to seize an opportunity, willful disbelief of reality (if it is too good to be true ..) because of delusions regarding wealth, the simultaneous paradox of knowing and not knowing. There is the enigmatic character of Vincent as a mysterious woman at the centre of the story. And there are hallucinatory ghosts in a spirit world. The story unfolds in a non-linear fashion but all loose ends are linked by the end of the book. Simply put, a great read.

Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel

Station Eleven - Emily St. John MandelA brilliant telling of a post-apocalyptic future after a virus rapidly kills >99% of the world’s population. The story alternates between the present which is 20 years after the plague, and the back-story of the key characters. There are some very satisfying inter-relationships between characters that are revealed slowly, including the importance of an unpublished graphic novel. This is an excellent entertaining book.


Amy notes: Later on the CBC Canada Reads long list 2016