After finishing Tolstoy and the Purple Chair, by Nina Sankovitch, who sets out to read a book each day for a year in order to alleviate her grief over her sister’s death, I decided to commit to reading a minimum of one book a week for a year. As of today, I have already read three, the first of which was The Sea of Tranquility by Emily St. John Mandel. Previously I had read my last Octavia Butler novel, Parable of the Talents in which the main character creates a religion with the ultimate goal of establishing human colonies in “the stars”. Then I discover that the title of The Sea of Tranquility refers to a specific area of the Moon where in this book there are two human colonies. Additionally, there are other colonies, the Far Colonies. Their specific location is never cited.
What is the likelihood that I would pick up a book at the library where the goal of the main character in the last book I read is fulfilled in the second book? Coincidence? Serendipity?
And, by the way, a pandemic occurs in both novels. Butler’s book, written in the 1990s, contains a number of prophetic statements and events which sound like today’s news. More about that in the next post.