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An Ocean of Minutes

Thea Lim

8 Reviews

Rated 0

Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945), Science fiction

What would you give to recover the past? In the vein of The Time Traveler's Wife and Station Eleven, a bittersweet and unforgettable love story of a couple who are at once weeks and many years apart.

A devastating and timely novel about courage, yearning, the cost of holding onto the past - and the price of letting it go.

'The clear-eyed, evocative writing here is reminiscent of Margaret Atwood, and anyone familiar with The Handmaid's Tale will find resonance in these pages... a devastating debut'
Toronto Star

'An Ocean Of Minutes absolutely swept me away'
Red Magazine

Polly and Frank are young and in love, a lifetime together before them. But one evening in 1980, as the Texas sun sets over their shoulders, the world is suddenly pulled apart by a deadly virus. Within months, Frank is dying. Polly can save him, but only if she agrees to a radical plan: to time travel to 1993 for a corporation who can fund his life-saving treatment. She can only go forward, she cannot go back. And she must leave everything she loves behind, including Frank.

All they have is the promise of a future together: they will find each other again in twelve years' time, in Galveston, Texas, where the sea begins.

But when something goes wrong and Polly arrives late, Frank is nowhere to be found. Completely alone, Polly must navigate a terrifying new world to find him, and to discover if their love has endured.

'A profound meditation on the inhumanity of class and the limits of love... This is a story about the malleability of time, but at its core lives something timeless'
Omar El Akkad, author of American War

'Strikingly imaginative... unlike anything I've ever read, rich with pinpoint emotional insight and fierce, vivid observations about a future that's already our past'
Elan Mastai, author of All Our Wrong Todays

'A buoyant, compelling tale ranging from the everyday beauty of falling in love to a frightening vision of a dystopian present day... boundless and dynamic'
Jennie Melamed, author of Gather the Daughters

'An Ocean of Minutes offers that rare combination of a provocative speculative setting, masterfully elegant writing, and a story that moves and haunts long after the last page'
David Chariandy, author of Brother

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Praise for An Ocean of Minutes

  • Timely... like the best dystopian worlds, Thea Lim's debut resonates with the present... a fresh perspective on the complex subjects of migration and displacement that plague our world today - Irish Times

  • An Ocean Of Minutes absolutely swept me away - Red

  • With echoes of The Time Traveller's Wife, An Ocean of Minutes is a love story with a difference - Good Housekeeping

  • The clear-eyed, evocative writing here is reminiscent of Margaret Atwood, and anyone familiar with The Handmaid's Tale will find resonance in these pages... a devastating debut - Toronto Star

  • Amidst the breathtaking world Thea Lim has created in An Ocean of Minutes is a profound meditation on the inhumanity of class and the limits of love. It takes immense talent to render cruelty both accurately and with honest beauty - Lim has pulled it off. This is a story about the malleability of time, but at its core lives something timeless - Omar El Akkad, author of American War

  • Heartbreaking... A beautiful debut exploring how time, love, and sacrifice are never what they seem to be - Kirkus

  • A strikingly imaginative time-travel story unlike anything I've ever read, rich with pinpoint emotional insight and fierce, vivid observations about a future that's already our past - Elan Mastai, author of All Our Wrong Todays

  • Thea Lim's imaginative and timely writing feels wholly original... a truly heart-breaking narrative... a beautifully poignant ending - Western Mail

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Thea Lim

Thea Lim's writing has been published by the Southampton Review, the Guardian, Salon, the Millions, Bitch Magazine, Utne Reader and others, and she has received multiple awards and fellowships for her work, including artists' grants from the Canada Council for the Arts and the Ontario Arts Council.

She holds an MFA from the University of Houston and she previously served as nonfiction editor at Gulf Coast.

She grew up in Singapore and lives in Toronto, where she is a professor of creative writing.

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