I admit, when I saw this come up as a featured book for Cannonball Read, I was a bit wary. Not because I was not a fan of the book, I was. However, reading a book about society rebuilding after a devastating plague seemed a bit masochistic during these days of isolation due to COVID-19. But I am glad I did.
This books speaks to the resiliency of our species, both from a physical, as well as a cultural standpoint. One of the keys to the story is on the outside of the traveling symphony, a group of actors who tour the upper Midwest region: Survival is insufficient. I absolutely love that motto. It is not enough just to live, you need to live FOR something, there has to be meaning and value in our existence.
That can take many forms. For the Traveling Symphony in the novel, it means performing plays and concerts to bring joy to people who have had their entire world upended. For others, in the current situation we find ourselves in, it could mean reaching out to friends, family or neighbors to provide assistance in whatever way you can.
This book reinforced to me that we are stronger than we think we are and, even if things look bleak, we can overcome a terrible situation if we do work together.