Readers go along with it too, yearning for an end to Polly and Frank’s yearning: their chances are split in two.
The problems that Polly experiences are not related to the miscalculation in her transport time or the geographical alterations across the years. She experiences problems that women have experienced historically and in the present-day.
Matters of class and privilege become increasingly important when Polly’s paperwork hits a snag, and readers share Polly’s confusion and frustration, her longing for answers: “Instead, she could only make sense of this in narrow slices, at the place where politics intersected with the needs of her own small life.”
One remarkable aspect of Thea Lim’s novel is her capacity to move beyond the clear-cut delineations of victim and perpetrator, which makes for a more intriguing and rewarding story.
Once one acknowledges that everyone has the capacity to receive and to wield injury, the question of responsibility is ever-more complex. There are no convenient labels, so conflicts are not characterized by blame and rage, rather a more delicate dance of atonement and forgiveness, which is more unsettling but, ultimately, more satisfying.