An Ocean of Minutes by Thea Lim. The book was one of five shortlisted for the 2018 Scotiabank Giller Prize and I can see why.
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; if she signs up for a one-way trip into the future to work as a bonded labourer, 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 terrifying new world to find Frank, to discover if he is alive, and to see if their love has endured.
Thea Lim tells a great story. Polly, of whom the story is about, is not the usual type of main character in the stories I usually read. She is fearful, lost and always full of sadness. Despite all of that, she is likable and a survivor doing her best to endure her circumstances and keep her dream alive.
The writing is very descriptive. I marveled at the images Lim could create in my mind.
I'm definitely glad I read this.
About Thea Lim
There is a great interview of how she wrote An Ocean of Minutes on the CBC website.