An Ocean of Minutes

Thea Lim's novel speaks of learning to let go of the past in a world of time travel.

Thea Lim

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 12 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.

An Ocean of Minutes is a gorgeous, devastating novel about courage, yearning, the cost of holding onto the past and the price of letting it go. (From Viking Press)


Author Thea Lim explores time travel in a dystopian world wracked by pandemic in her first novel, An Ocean of Minutes. Lim talks to Tom Power about drawing on her own experience of growing up in Canada and Singapore to create this parable about immigration. 12:21