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‘Sea Of Tranquility’ Is A Mind-bending Journey Through Time.


“Sea of Tranquility” by Emily St. John Mandel is an engaging tale that blends time travel with everyday human experiences. This was my first full-fledged dive into the audiobooks. The mind-bending story is quite an experience which takes the reader on a journey from the early 1900s to the distant future, covering multiple timelines. The novel connects characters from different times and places through a strange and mysterious event. Mandel skillfully weaves this story, creating a bond that links all the main characters across time and space.

Beginning in 1912, we meet Edwin St. John St. Andrew, a young aristocrat who feels out of place in his world. He encounters a strange experience in the forests of Vancouver Island, revealing a mystery that repeats across various timelines throughout the plot. The story then progresses to the future, where we meet Mirella Kessler, who discovers her old friend Vincent’s death in the 21st century.

Sea Of Tranquility

As the plot progresses, we’re introduced to Olive Llewellyn in the 23rd century. She’s an author on a book tour on Earth, far from her home on a moon colony. Her book about a pandemic strangely echoes what’s happening in her real life, somewhat mirroring Mandel’s experiences with her previous novel, “Station Eleven.”

Vincent and another character, Gaspery Roberts, become central to the story. Gaspery was brought up on a moon colony in the late 24th century. He becomes involved with the Time Institute, a mysterious organization maintaining order in timelines. His sister, Zoey, also works for the Time Institute. Gaspery Roberts and the strange visions he sees act as threads that link different stories together.

The heart of the story is the strange event that Edwin first encountered at the beginning of the story. The Time Institute learns that moments from different centuries are merging with each other. Thus, Gaspery embarks on time-travel missions to solve this puzzle.

The characters in the book are all searching for meaning in life against a backdrop of imaginative and thought-provoking elements. Mandel captures deep feelings of longing, loss, and the search for purpose. The cyclical nature of time is well-expressed in Olive’s words: “We might reasonably think of the end of the world as a continuous and never-ending process.”

Mandel does an excellent job of weaving together different timelines in the story. Her writing is beautiful and thought-provoking, making each story feel real and drawing readers into the rich worlds she creates in her stories. For example, her vivid descriptions of the pandemic, loss and what it feels like to leave Earth really stand out. They show off her skill as a writer.

The book’s story is complex and involves multiple timelines. This might make it hard for readers to understand the mystery of the anomaly. While the book is engaging, the constant shifts between different timelines might confuse and overwhelm readers. This can sometimes blur the central theme and story. Mandel handles multiple timelines skillfully, but making the story’s connections more apparent could help readers understand it better. Each individual story is distinct and thoughtfully written. When combined, they create a rich and complete narrative.

Sea Of Tranquility
Mandel does an excellent job of weaving together different timelines in the story.

Emily St. John Mandel’s “Sea of Tranquility” is an exceptionally well-told story. It’s a heartwarming tale that goes beyond just the confines of the book. It makes one think and provides a new perspective on our interactions with technology and the environment. Some parts of the novel explore how people recover from pandemics, which is relevant to our current global situation. Emily St. John Mandel has already established herself as a significant author in the realm of speculative fiction. I will definitely be checking her other works and sharing my views.

My Rating:-

Sea Of Tranquility: Goodreads Rating: 4.09

Reviewed On:

  • Audiobook
  • Total Time: 3 Hours
  • Genre: Fiction/Sci-Fi
  • Sea Of Tranquility: Emily St. John Mandel

About the author


An Engineer by education, public servant by profession and a pet parent. A novice cyclist, avid reader, adventure and cricket enthusiast, computer gamer, chess player by passion, overall a learner at heart. Life is too short for the overwhelming variety and entirety of experiences. There are so many things to try, learn and experience.

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