Novel here just in time for our next pan­demic

Serve Daily - - BUILDING COMMUNITY - By Deb­bie Bal­zotti

Iread this week that Bill Gates be­lieves a pan­demic is com­ing in about 10 years. He said, “We’re due for an apoc­a­lyp­tic with the sick­ness on the scale of the 1918 flu, char­ac­ters which killed some 50 mil­lion peo­ple.” A the loss of state­ment for sci- fi writ­ers to en­joy and the sim­ple pon­der and ex­pand into a 400- page novel. and beau­ti­ful

The sci­ence fic­tion book shelf at my things house emp­tied when my three boys left en­joyed home. There were a few lin­ger­ing du­pli­cate be­fore the copies of the “Dune” se­ries with tat­tered col­lapse of cov­ers, but all the rest mi­grated. It civ­i­liza­tion. was fine with me since I rarely read this It also genre and I needed more room for my makes us Dick Fran­cis col­lec­tion any­way. won­der how

One of my book thief sons handed me we could go a copy of the na­tional best­seller “Sta­tion back to a Eleven” by Emily St. John Man­del as I time with­out the ad­vances in tech­nol­ogy boarded the plane to Hawaii last month. It we all take for granted. is a haunting post-apoc­a­lyp­tic novel – not No one can com­mu­ni­cate by tele­phone, a beach book (mind­less en­ter­tain­ment). I in­ter­net or mail. There are no cars or air­planes couldn’t put it down be­cause great writ­ing for travel. Iso­lated peo­ple wan­der al­ways wins. across the land­scape hop­ing to find fam­ily

The story be­gins with the on-stage and loved ones who may have sur­vived. death of ag­ing ac­tor Arthur Le­an­der as What would we be­come with­out the abil­ity he per­forms in “King Lear.” The death is to con­tact oth­ers? wit­nessed by a cast and au­di­ence who will The au­thor has pur­posely cho­sen 20 join him in death in the next week as a years af­ter the pan­demic, which is much flu pan­demic quickly kills 99 per­cent of more in­ter­est­ing to me. Some of the earth’s pop­u­la­tion. post-apoc­a­lyp­tic books I have read are set

A few chap­ters and 20 years later, we in the ter­ror-filled im­me­di­ate af­ter­math or meet the small Trav­el­ing Sym­phony group the de­press­ing gen­er­a­tions past. There is a whose mem­bers hope to keep some of the sense of hope amidst the strug­gle to sur­vive past cul­ture alive as they jour­ney be­tween for those who have made it this far, set­tle­ments and per­form Shake­speare and and we are left with the feel­ing that mankind clas­si­cal mu­sic. The small troupe has will re­build a bet­ter earth. painted their theme on the lead wagon, As I handed “Sta­tion Eleven,” with a “Sur­vival is In­suf­fi­cient,” but many have cou­ple of salt wa­ter marks on the cover, never seen the “Star Trek” episode where back to my son, I couldn’t help smil­ing the quote was taken. as I thought about all the books he had

Con­nec­tions emerge as the reader goes scuffed up over the years. My smile faded back and forth in time. The child who as I re­mem­bered Bill Gates pan­demic pre­dic­tion stood in the wings at King Lear, Kirsten and the spooky co­in­ci­dence of this Ray­monde, now per­forms in the same sci-fi book. This is one tale I hope never play as an adult woman. Oth­ers emerge comes true. from that past to take on new roles in the af­ter­math.

This novel causes the reader to mourn *** Give me lib­erty or give me death. - Pa­trick Henry

David Tay­lor demon­strates how the new Fam­ily Nexus app works on an iPhone to Michele Child in Springville. The free app helps users vi­su­al­ize the places where an­ces­tors were from and brings new dis­cov­er­ies about fam­ily right to the phone.

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