Book Review: Sea of Tranquility by Emily St. John Mandel

“Our anxiety is warranted, and it’s not unreasonable to suggest that we might channel that anxiety into fiction, but the problem with that theory is, our anxiety is nothing new. When have we ever believed that the world wasn’t ending?”

Emily St. John Mandel, Sea of Tranquility

Title: Sea of Tranquility
Author: Emily St. John Mandel
Genre: Science Fiction
Pages: 255 (Hardcover)
Published: April 5th, 2022

My Rating: ★★★★ ¼
Read: 5/6/2022 – 5/10/2022


I went into this book blindly. I saw the name and the cover and was sold. I never even looked at the description. Fortunately, this was a successful case of judging a book by its cover.

After the first time jump, I was disappointed to see we wouldn’t be following Edwin through the entire story but I quickly got into the rhythm of the storytelling and the different people involved. Of everyone, I enjoyed Olive’s portion the most even though I found Gaspery’s the most fascinating.

The book picked up a lot in the second half and became impossible to put down. I did struggle through some of it though, the characters and settings all beginning to jumble together and getting my wires crossed. In hindsight, I would have aimed to have set aside time to read this in one sitting so everything remained fresh in my mind. Still, I enjoyed the book thoroughly.

I thought reading about pandemic life would be more difficult than it was. While it was central to the plot, it was more about the individuals and the loneliness that becomes the bigger plight. The essence of that was well captured.


As I mentioned in my review, I regret not setting time aside to read this in one sitting. I chose this as a travel read so I had some distractions which might have been part of my trouble absorbing the last couple of chapters fully. I’m definitely interested in reading more of Emily St. John Mandel’s books now, especially since reading somewhere that a couple of characters from her previous books made an appearance in this one? I can’t confirm, though, since this was my first time reading her work.

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