Severance: A Novel

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In Ling Ma’s Severance, fever with no known cure has become so widespread that the world’s infrastructures have buckled. Severance follows Candace as she confronts the realities of the changing world, from the shifting of her relationships and her working life to the dramatic changes in New York City, where she lives and works. Alongside a crew of other people who never contracted the fever, she journeys toward the Facility; a building promised to be a stronghold in their crumbling world, unraveling her past and confronting the frightening uncertainties of her future along the way.

Ling Ma’s hand as a writer is light and masterful, characterized by a solemnity touched with humor. Candace’s memories and descriptions are vivid and touching and have a specificity that grounds the reader in Candace’s emotional experience as they read about an apocalyptic version of their world. Shifting from Candace’s present efforts to navigate the group dynamic of fellow survivors to recollections of her life as the fever first developed, the novel offers intrigue to the reader. Through the events that led to Candace’s current situation, her story becomes more apparent to readers. Prompting consideration of religion, family, life, death, and memory, Severance is rich and thoughtful, limited only by its ending, which may leave some readers unsatisfied.


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Author Ling Ma
Star Count 4.5/5
Format Hard
Page Count 304 pages
Publisher Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Publish Date 2018-Aug-14
ISBN 9780374261597
Amazon Buy this Book
Issue March 2019
Category Modern Literature
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