“A beautiful debut exploring how time, love, and sacrifice are never what they seem to be.”
“An Ocean of Minutes draws comparisons with The Time Traveller's Wife. But this tale of a woman sent 13 years into the future to save the man she loves, cuts deeper and more true. Heart-breaking and haunting.”
In September 1981, Polly and Frank arrive at the time travel terminal at Houston Intercontinental Airport. One will travel, and one will stay.
America is in the grip of a deadly flu pandemic. When Frank catches the virus, Polly will do whatever it takes to save her lover, even if it means risking everything. She agrees to a radical plan—time travel has been invented in the future to thwart the virus. If she signs up for a one-way-trip into the future to work as a bonded laborer, the company will pay for the life-saving treatment Frank needs. Polly promises to meet Frank again in Galveston, Texas, where she will arrive in twelve years.
But when Polly is re-routed an extra five years into the future, Frank is nowhere to be found. Alone in a divided America, with no status and no money, Polly is desperate to find Frank. But as danger mounts and her search demands unthinkable sacrifice, she must ask herself: what does it cost to hold on to the past, and what does it cost to let it go?
An Ocean of Minutes is a timely exploration of migration and the wrenching love story of two people who are at once mere weeks and many years apart.
“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. Thea Lim is an enormously talented writer.”
“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.”
“An Ocean of Minutes is a time machine into the future of this moment. Gripping and graceful, it's dystopian love story as told by a visionary. Thea Lim's novel reads like the birth of a legend.”
“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.”
“An Ocean of Minutes is a buoyant, compelling tale ranging from the everyday beauty of falling in love to a frightening vision of a dystopian present day. Ms. Lim's imagination is boundless and dynamic, from her narrative arc to the small details that animate and anchor her prose. I would recommend An Ocean of Minutes to anyone looking to be drawn in and enchanted by a truly unique story.”