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An Ocean of Minutes (2018)

by Thea Lim

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
2661982,265 (3.45)29
"In the vein of The Time Traveler's Wife and Station Eleven, a sweeping literary love story about two people who are at once mere weeks and many years apart. America is in the grip of a deadly flu pandemic. When Frank catches the virus, his girlfriend Polly will do whatever it takes to save him, 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 changed and divided America, with no status and no money, Polly must navigate a new life and find a way to locate Frank, to discover if he is alive, and if their love has endured. An Ocean of Minutes is a gorgeous and heartbreaking story about the endurance and complexity of human relationships and the cost of holding onto the past--and the price of letting it go"--… (more)
  1. 00
    Foe by Iain Reid (sturlington)
    sturlington: These are both unusual science fiction novels addressing themes of separation and isolation.
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Showing 1-5 of 18 (next | show all)
Plot:
There's a deadly flu going around. The treatment is difficult and expensive. When Frank becomes ill, his girlfriend Polly has to take desperate measures to save him - she signs a contract to work for a company as a bonded laborer some years in the future. They will pay for Frank's treatment and Polly and Frank can meet again in 12 years in Galveston. Only that Polly finds herself sent another five years into the future, and Frank isn't in Galveston anymore.

An Ocean of Minutes is a beautifully written book with interesting world-building that I enjoyed a whole lot, despite its sadness.

Read more on my blog: https://kalafudra.com/2019/12/25/an-ocean-of-minutes-thea-lim/ ( )
  kalafudra | Jul 20, 2021 |
This may not have been the best choice of novels to read in 2020. I found it quite depressing. I also never quite got the time travel part straight in my head and the finding each other part. It was fuzzy. It could just be me but I never quite invested in this novel. ( )
1 vote Smits | Jan 7, 2021 |
Two stars, not because of the writing. The writing is good; the plot is interesting. She enslaved herself with a time travel company to earn medical help for him during a pandemic, but their plan to meet up again in the future goes awry. The "future" world is very dystopic and crazy, interesting unique concepts. What I don't like about the story is her naivety of love and how things should work out simply because she desperately loves him. Flashbacks make them seem like a perfect couple, as if their perfect relationship should make me feel her hope and pain too. I don't. I roll my eyes at her blindness and stupidity. Other characters are figuring things out, why can't she. At least the conclusion is not all rainbows and kittens. ( )
1 vote LDVoorberg | Nov 22, 2020 |
Polly signs on to time travel to the future as a sort of indentured servant to help rebuild America in order that her lover Frank will receive the necessary health care to save him from the pandemic that is raging in 1981. She is only traveling to 1993, so she and Frank make careful plans about when and where to meet in the future. He will be 12 years older and she will be the same age as she presently is, but hopefully they can carry on. What could go wrong?

This was a quick and easy read of a well-rendered dystopian America, where the poor (and indentured laborers) exist only to provide for the comfort of the wealthy few. Polly meets many obstacles as she tries to make her way back to Frank in the future.

3 stars ( )
  arubabookwoman | Aug 23, 2020 |
It’s 1981. There is a virulent pandemic that is wiping out a vast percentage of the world’s population. Polly appears to be immune. The love of her life, Frank, has got it. Apparently there is some kind of cure, but it’s really expensive. Oh, and there is some company seeking volunteers for time travel into the future, the payment for which can be the medical expenses needed to help someone now with the disease. Polly decides to risk everything to save Frank. They agree to meet at a particular place in the future. And, well, it all goes a bit sideways.

With such an involved, almost rococo premise, you might expect interesting fireworks as this novel progresses. Not so much. The writing is leaden. And the characters are pencil thin. But worse, Polly is just dim. She isn’t presented as unintelligent. But her actions, almost all of them, are nearly ridiculous. You just can’t help throwing up your hands, again and again. However, she’s not alone. The love of her life, Frank, is equally unimaginably dim. It made them utterly unbelievable and unsympathetic.

When Polly exits from the time machine, she discovers that she has overshot her expected date of arrival of 1993. It is actually 1998. There follows an excruciating sequence of chapters as Polly learns about the very different world in which she has arrived. Of course this is not helped by the fact that Polly’s choices and actions are all ridiculously poor.

An interesting premise utterly squandered. And definitely not recommended. ( )
1 vote RandyMetcalfe | Apr 9, 2020 |
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For Ryan, who sees the seabirds home
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People wishing to time travel go to Houston Intercontinental Airport.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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"In the vein of The Time Traveler's Wife and Station Eleven, a sweeping literary love story about two people who are at once mere weeks and many years apart. America is in the grip of a deadly flu pandemic. When Frank catches the virus, his girlfriend Polly will do whatever it takes to save him, 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 changed and divided America, with no status and no money, Polly must navigate a new life and find a way to locate Frank, to discover if he is alive, and if their love has endured. An Ocean of Minutes is a gorgeous and heartbreaking story about the endurance and complexity of human relationships and the cost of holding onto the past--and the price of letting it go"--

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