Kirsten Raymonde will never forget the night Arthur Leander, the famous Hollywood actor, had a heart attack on stage during a production of King Lear. That was the night when a devastating flu pandemic arrived in the city, and within weeks, civilization as we know it came to an end. Twenty years later, Kirsten moves between the settlements of the altered world with a small troupe of actors and musicians. They call themselves The Traveling Symphony, and they have dedicated themselves to keeping the remnants of art and humanity alive. But when they arrive in St. Deborah by the Water, they encounter a violent prophet who will threaten the tiny band’s existence. And as the story takes off, moving back and forth in time, and vividly depicting life before and after the pandemic, the strange twist of fate that connects them all will be revealed.
A page turner told from multiple perspectives about life after your life as you know it ends.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
How did I not know about this book??? I’ve never heard of the author at all, and until Whitney from @theunreadshelf had me borrow this book- it had never come on my radar. She was trying to help me get out of my awful February book slump and recommended this book to me. I knew it was post apocalyptic, and…well that was about it- and wow was I in for a surprise. Let me start out by saying that this book is in NO way nightmare inducing. It’s not that type of post-apocalyptic vibe – no graphic rape or descriptive violence. It was totally believable- no zombies (sorry Walking Dead fans), or super heros
I loved the characters! There are multiple main characters in this novel- which in the beginning is always hard to catch onto. Trust me, it’s worth remembering the characters- they are written beautifully and I dare you not to like the mains.
There are also multiple time jumps throughout each section in the book. I must say, I am almost NEVER a fan of the time jump… but alas apparently I’ve never been a fan of the writing of a time jump! Mandel’s writing of the time jumps never left me discombobulated (you’re welcome for using that word), but I was on the adventure with the characters!
I also liked the semi mystery of the plot. What will happen? Who is the Prophet? (Though I figured that out before the reveal- NO spoilers!- I credit that to my BBC mystery series training) Who is living and dead?
There is not a lot I didn’t like. If anything, I would say I could use a second book. I want to know even more- it could’ve been longer!
Listen to: Clair de Lune
Eat: an orange
The BEST time to read this is snowy weather WINTER. BUT this is required reading if you like this genre- so enjoy it all year round!