Sea of Tranquility, Emily St. John Mandel

This picture is confusing. We're looking at the surface of the moon in which the colonies were built, but in the background is.... the moon?

I don’t really know how to review this book, and I’m afraid I don’t have much more to add to the conversation. I loved Olive’s quick wit; her answers in the interviews were amusing, although sometimes tedious. I liked Gaspery’s persistence, that he kept going, and that he knew an opportunity when he saw one and wasn’t afraid to leap.

There are so many moving cogs, and I enjoyed how they came together. I liked how the story was told in bits and pieces, amongst varying points of view and times. The author gives us just enough information when needed, which makes for creative storytelling. St. John Mandel’s vision of the future is equal parts scary and beautiful. This is an utterly satisfying read.

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About the Book

Edwin St. Andrew is eighteen years old when he crosses the Atlantic by steamship, exiled from polite society following an ill-conceived diatribe at a dinner party. He enters the forest, spellbound by the beauty of the Canadian wilderness, and suddenly hears the notes of a violin echoing in an airship terminal—an experience that shocks him to his core. 
 
Two centuries later a famous writer named Olive Llewellyn is on a book tour. She’s traveling all over Earth, but her home is the second moon colony, a place of white stone, spired towers, and artificial beauty. Within the text of Olive’s best-selling pandemic novel lies a strange passage: a man plays his violin for change in the echoing corridor of an airship terminal as the trees of a forest rise around him. 
 
When Gaspery-Jacques Roberts, a detective in the black-skied Night City, is hired to investigate an anomaly in the North American wilderness, he uncovers a series of lives upended: The exiled son of an earl driven to madness, a writer trapped far from home as a pandemic ravages Earth, and a childhood friend from the Night City who, like Gaspery himself, has glimpsed the chance to do something extraordinary that will disrupt the timeline of the universe.
 
A virtuoso performance that is as human and tender as it is intellectually playful, Sea of Tranquility is a novel of time travel and metaphysics that precisely captures the reality of our current moment.


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