About An Ocean of Minutes
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.
My review of An Ocean of Minutes
This novel both soothed and broke my heart. I eagerly turned the first page, and from the very first paragraph, I just knew that I was going to fall in love with this book. It's engaging, evocative and daring. It's a story for the soul.
This book can be viewed in so many different ways. It is a highly crafted work of dystopian fiction and the world building is quite simply astounding. I believed in this world. It is also a story about a time travelling young woman who goes into an unknown future to save the man she loves. It is also a story about self discovery and independence. Polly has to learn to rely on herself and her quick wit and intellect. Throughout the novel she begins to grow into her skin and to learn who she truly is.
On a wider scale, this novel is also hugely political. Polly has to time travel to save Frank. There is no other way. She is beholden to the corporation known as TimeRaiser. She is pretty much a hostage as she works and bides her time until she is free again. This has wider connotations for the world in which we live today; a world in which the rich have multiple life choices while living amongst the working classes who barely get by on zero contract hours and food banks. The world in which Polly lives is not too dissimilar to our world today.
For me though, this story was predominantly about love. It's a love story that showcases all of its complexeties. That newly found love when we are young and how it grows and transforms into something else. Something that we cannot envisage at the age of twenty, but only something we can live twenty years later. Polly and Frank start out as young lovers. I lived and breathed their first meeting, their dates, and watched their love blossom through the flashback chapters that were dotted throughout the book. These interspersed the main story of Polly, and her life, as she was thrust into the unknown world of the future. Polly and Frank's love story is an unusual one, as they have a beginning but no middle. There are many lost years as they struggle to find one another again.
This story is a beautiful love story. And my breath caught in my throat as I read about these two young people who were so obviously very much in love.
The author takes all of these various strands and weaves a story that I simply could not put down. I read each page slowly, not wanting this beautiful story to end. Because, it is a beautiful story. And I know it will stay with me for many years to come.
With thanks to Bookbridgr and Ana McLaughlin for the hardback copy, provided for review purposes.
An Ocean of Minutes was published by Quercus on 28 June.