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.
The steamy heat of Florida is the setting in which people make bad decisions and lives spiral downwards: the consequences of lies and deception produce weariness and desperation. This is very good story telling by the author of Station Eleven.
A 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some very satisfying inter-relationships between characters that are revealed slowly, including the importance of an unpublished graphic novel.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