An Ocean of Minutes is one-part love story, one-part dystopian, mixed with a tiny bit of horror—in the context of waking up and not knowing where you are, who you are or how you’re going to survive.

In an attempt to save the life of her love, Frank, from a flu running rampant through the United States, Polly agrees to travel in time from 1981 to 1993, where she and Frank plan to meet in Galveston, Texas. Unfortunately for Polly, her destination time is changed during her journey and she ends up arriving in 1998 to find a world she does not recognize.

The Highlights

An Ocean of Minutes is for you if you like a combination of a dystopian and a long-lost love but are okay surprising endings and want to do away with the level of violence that is usually associated with dystopian or fantasy novels.

  • Canadian author (gotta love em’ eh?)
  • Female author
  • Relatable, persistent character
  • Strong female lead
  • A different kind of adventure
  • More drama than romance
  • Relatively quick read weighing in at 320 pages
  • Easy read, no Shakespearian term knowledge needed!

An Ocean of Minutes: Spoiler Alert

If I’m being completely honest with you, I picked this book up on a whim based solely on the cover, which technically I do a lot. And originally I set it down and walked away before retracing my steps a few minutes later thinking what the hell?

It turns out it was an exceptional read. I’d wander away from the book to do something and find myself coming back a few minutes later without realizing it. I ended up giving in and spent the majority of an evening finishing it in one sitting.

Polly’s journey is so intriguing because while it’s something that’s so far fetched we’ll obviously never have to encounter anything like it, it makes you stop and think what would I do if I did? The exercise of reading the book made me realize that Polly is significantly more wholesome than I, with better judgement and a clear goal in mind.

Spoiler Alert: The biggest disappointment to me, and probably the thing I was least surprised to learn, was how different Frank was. In the end, they don’t live happily ever after. In fact, in the end, Polly seems genuinely unhappy.

But then again, if I woke up 20 years into the future in a different world where I knew no one, was treated like crap and had to “work off” my travel expenses, then when I did find the people I loved they had all changed – I would probably be unhappy too.

I secretly think the realism behind the story is why I liked the book so much. I’m a sucker for a happy ending but every once in awhile it’s refreshing to not get everything you want. Reality has a place in the world and it has its place in literature.

About the Author

Thea Lim was born in Canada, grew up in Singapore and now lives in Toronto, Ontario, which makes her a Canadian author if I’ve ever heard of one (at least part, you can give me that much). An Ocean of Minutes published in 2018 is her debut novel and the only one she’s published so far (go figure, 2018 was like two weeks ago). She’s been published before in Magazines along with her novella The Same Woman in 2007. She is currently a creative writing professor.


The Single Girl’s Guide to Real Adulting uses affiliate links on some of our posts. This helps support the blog and make sure we continue to bring you awesome content. Thank you for your readership and support!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *