Like the best dystopian worlds, Thea Lim’s debut resonates with the present. Families are rent apart because of momentous world events. In 1981 people are dying in such numbers that the value of a single life has lost all currency. In 1998, the year which Polly travels to, conditions are equally grim. The time travellers are prisoners in everything but name. Given visas based on their skills, they carry out years of work for pittance in order to gain their freedom. The country, meanwhile, has split in two – a self-contained north and a plague riddled south – a world where soulless officialdom and aggressive policing contrasts with the scale of human grief, a new nightmarish America that is horribly recognisable.... An Ocean of Minutes is a timely novel that brings a fresh perspective on the complex subjects of migration and displacement that plague our world today.