Severance by Ling Ma

This is a story of a pandemic and the people that are left behind. Chapters switch between pre and post Shen Fever sweeping the globe. We view all of this through Candace and her immigrant parents. Her Father sought a more profitable life for them in the US, leaving their native China behind. Of course this book is highly relevant to current events, which makes reading it now even more unnerving than it would be otherwise (which is still quite). The writing is very good. Although while Candace and her family are well fleshed out sometimes other more minor characters remain two dimensional. I did not expect the more sci fi and horror elements to this book, but was pleasantly surprised by them. It will really get under your skin. In particular the descriptions of abandoned NYC. Also the incremental decay of the trappings of capitalism, industry and commerce, and what that means for the individual. This dissolution of industry calls into question larger topics, like the exploitation of workers abroad, the ways in which women in particular are ceaselessly marketed at, and whether we all really need so much stuff, especially when it comes at such great cost to others.