I guess 5-hour airplane rides are good for reading books. I finished Sea of Tranquility by Emily St John Mandel and was rather impressed by it, although her previous book The Glass Hotel didn’t quite do it for me.
But this time travel pandemic novel really just held on to me and wouldn’t let go. Maybe it was me sitting in an airplane wearing a mask and on the other side of the aisle, the man and his teenaged son were maskless, like maybe about half of the other passengers.
We had traveled to Hawaii when masks were required on airplanes. And flew out of Big Island with most people not wearing masks. We’re still in the midst of this thing, are we not?
This passage in the book especially made me sit up and reread it:
“Pandemics don’t approach like wars, with the distant thud of artillery growing louder every day and flashes of bombs on the horizon. They arrive in retrospect, essentially. It’s disorientating. The pandemic is far away and then it’s all around you, with seemingly no intermediate step.”
I don’t want to give you a synopsis of the story. I went into it not really knowing much about it. And I think that’s the best way of reading this book. Pull on your mask and plunge in.