I found this to be a profoundly moving coming-of-age story. Julia is eleven the day the newscasters announce the Slowing: for reasons scientists can’t explain, the earth’s rotation has begun to slow, making days and nights a little longer with each passing day. At first the change is barely noticeable, but soon days are stretching to 27 hours, 30, even longer. Birds fall from the sky. Whales wash up on the beach. Crops fail. And while all this happens, Julia trudges on through middle school.
I thought this novel nailed the painful, confusing years of adolescence. Quite a few times I read a passage so honest, so brutally unfair, that I sobbed. And the way the entire story juxtaposes Julia’s loss of innocence with the slow deterioration of the planet is incredibly powerful. The writing was lovely, but I actually think it was this parallel–innocence cannot be reclaimed once lost, some things change permanently–that really packed the emotional punch.
This is definitely “soft” science-fiction. The focus is on Julia and childhood, on falling in love and learning the stubborn unfairness of life, on the heart-wrenching process of growing up. Powerful, moving stuff.
Originally posted here