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July-August 2018

REVIEW: New novel explores time travel and the vitality of love

Inside Thea Lim's timely debut novel, An Ocean of Minutes

Chimedum Ohaegbu

9780735234918An Ocean of Minutes
By Thea Lim
Viking, $24.95

In Thea Lim’s An Ocean of Minutes, Polly Nader time-travels to the future to work off medical debts for her boyfriend, Frank, who needs a life-saving treatment. She plans to reunite with him after her work as a bonded labourer is done. However, Polly is rerouted an additional five years, and the book alternates between Polly’s relationship with Frank in the past and her present search for him. While the prose is gorgeous, it covers reflections on remembrance far better than it does Polly’s predicament, which lacks a strong sense of place and urgency. Dreamlike yet occasionally dreary, Lim’s novel explores love’s vitality in a world where time creates as many wounds as it heals.

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