Summer Reading: An Ocean of Minutes
So as it turns out, this is the time of year that I read a novel about time travel (among other things). Last year, it was Kathleen Flynn’s wonderful book, The Jane Austen Project. And this year it’s Thea Lim’s An Ocean of Minutes. I had read Kerry Clare’s review on Pickle Me This, and knew it was a book I need to read this summer. She never steers me wrong.
It’s hard to believe this is a debut novel. It’s a page-turner, and hits so many of the right notes. From the liner notes:
“It is 1981, a virulent flu has swept through America, and Polly and Frank are stranded in Texas by accident. Frank gets sick. Within days, he is dying, and Polly will do anything to save him. The TimeRaiser corporation has invented time travel, and they will pay for the life-saving treatment Frank needs – if Polly makes a one-way trip, twelve years into the future, to work fo them. She immediately signs on, and she and Frank promise to meet by the seashore in Galveston in 1993 to restart their lives together. but when Polly is re-routed an extra five years into the future to 1998, Frank is nowhere to be found.”
When Polly arrives in 1998, the U.S. has been divided in two: America and the United States. And meeting up with Frank isn’t at all easy. The novel is grippingly paced and has the reader thinking about the distance between people, the effects of time on our relationships, and how the past constantly plays on our minds. One of the characters says, “We’re getting the past back, but better. It will be the way we like to remember it, instead of the way it was. People will pay anything for that.” There is so much that resonates with our current time, that you have to wonder if Thea Lim travelled into the future before she sat down to write the book.
I expected this book to be a fun page turner, and it was, but it also made me feel so much, and to think about the time we live in now, in new ways.
This, for me, was a perfect summer read, and pairs well with Flynn’s book. It might become a thing for me, too, to read a book about time travel every summer. Any recommendations?