Are you ready for a time-traveling adventure that takes you from Vancouver Island in 1912 to a dark colony on the moon 500 years later? Then buckle up and get ready to be swept away by Emily St. John Mandel’s latest masterpiece, Sea of Tranquility.
Mandel is known for her award-winning works such as Station Eleven and The Glass Hotel, and in Sea of Tranquility, she showcases her talents once again. This novel is a virtuoso performance that is as human and tender as it is intellectually playful.
The story begins with Edwin St. Andrew, an eighteen-year-old who had been exiled from polite society following a disastrous outburst at a dinner party. He finds himself in the Canadian wilderness, spellbound by the beauty of nature when he hears the notes of a violin echoing in an airship terminal. This experience shakes him to his core, setting the stage for a journey that will take the reader on a wild ride of time travel and metaphysics.
Fast forward two centuries later, and we meet Olive Llewellyn, a famous writer who is visiting Earth on a book tour. However, her real home is on the second moon colony, a place of spired towers, white stones, and artificial beauty. Olive’s bestselling pandemic novel contains a strange passage about a man who plays his violin in the echoing corridor of an airship terminal, surrounded by the rising trees of a forest. This passage connects the lives of several characters in the novel, including Edwin and Olive.
Gaspery-Jacques Roberts, a detective in the black-skied Night City, is hired to investigate an anomaly in the North American wilderness. His investigation leads him down a dangerous path and uncovers a series of lives upended, from the exiled son of an earl driven to madness, to a writer trapped far from home as a pandemic ravages Earth, to a childhood friend from Night City who, like Gaspery himself, has glimpsed the chance to do something extraordinary that will disrupt the timeline of the universe.
Mandel’s writing style is exceptional, and she writes with such ease that the complex narrative flows seamlessly. She has a way of transporting her readers to different worlds and times, making them feel as if they are right there in the middle of the action. Her descriptions of different settings and her characters’ experiences are vivid and evoke strong emotions, whether it is the wilderness of Canada in 1912 or the eerie beauty of the second moon colony.
Sea of Tranquility is a novel that touches on themes of love, time, art and plague, weaving complex and multifaceted characters throughout the narrative. The storytelling is gripping and beautifully crafted, drawing the reader in from the very first page. Mandel has unlocked the sense of play and puzzle-making that shimmered in her earliest work, making this novel one of her finest yet.
The novel is also relevant to our current moment, with the pandemic playing a significant role in the story. It is a reminder of how quickly our lives can change, and how the choices we make can have far-reaching consequences. Mandel expertly captures the reality of our current moment and explores the human experience of living through a pandemic.
Sea of Tranquility is a transporting and brilliant novel that will sweep you away on a journey through time and space. It is a testament to Mandel’s exceptional talent and an absolute delight to read. So, get ready to be swept away on a journey that will leave you breathless, as you explore the depths of the human experience through the lens of time travel and metaphysics.
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(as of Mar 25, 2023 07:58:43 UTC – Details)