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An Ocean of Minutes

A Novel
By: Thea Lim
Narrated by: Lisa Rost-Welling
Length: 7 hrs and 59 mins
3.5 out of 5 stars (30 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

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 12 years.

But when Polly is rerouted 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 on to the past - and the price of letting it go.

©2018 Thea Lim (P)2018 Simon & Schuster Audio

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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Excruciating narration

I don't feel like I should even be reviewing the story itself, because I might have enjoyed it more if I'd read it instead. The narrator is amateurish, largely monotonous, speeds through important transitions which blunts whatever emotional impact there might have been... do not listen to this book. Maybe get a hard copy from the library.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Poignant, evocative, and gripping

This book is difficult to classify - it's a time travel tale, a dystopian nightmare, alternative history, and a love story all woven together. It stays grounded in the details even when its facts seem fantastical, so that everything feels real, and you never question the world that these characters live in. The characters are also real, flawed and unpredictable, dealing with their circumstances in ways I wouldn't have necessarily expected, but that make perfect sense.

The protagonist in particular has stayed with me after listening. Throughout the book she is constrained and beaten down by circumstances, but she persists, not like a superhero but like a genuine imperfect human. You end up sincerely rooting for her - and fearing for her. This book is often quietly quite suspenseful, and I was just as surprised by the turns the plot took as the protagonist was. I finished the book in two days and am left wanting more; what happens to Polly next?

I would recommend listening to the sample before buying this book, just to make sure that the narrator is your cup of tea. I enjoyed her narration; I often get bored with slow narrators, and I find overly dramatic narrators corny, so this narrator's fast and not-too-expressive narration worked for me. I think the understated narration fits well with this book: the protagonist is just trying to achieve her goals, and the world is constantly, uncaringly throwing obstacles in her way, so the matter-of-fact narration matches both the protagonist and the unforgiving world around her.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Beautiful

This is just the kind of emotional novel I've been looking for. It really flows along and pulls you in. I loved every sentence.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful