Longing for What We Never Had: A Review of Emily St John Mandel’s Sea of Tranquility

Ancillary Review of Books


Longing for What We Never Had: A Review of Emily St John Mandel’s Sea of Tranquility

Ben Berman Ghan


Under Review:
Sea of Tranquility. Emily St. John Mandel. Knopf, April 5, 2022.


Within Emily St John Mandel’s Sea of Tranquility, time is a mountain you climb, callouses forming along tired and bloody fingers, giddy from the knowledge a long fall might await you, dread building. However, when at last you reach the peak, you find your toughened hands the perfect tools for descent. Climbing back down again can be done with confidence, enmeshed in the surety that soft ground awaits, and everything that was once unknown can now be seen with comfortable perspective and clarity.

This isMandel’s sixth novel, building on the themes and premises of Station Eleven(2014) and The Glass Hotel(2020). Its connection to those previous works is sometimes deeply meaningful, and sometimes only…

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