'This, of course, is the day we all remember. There'd been a change, they said, a slowing...'
The premise for this novel is intriguing and frightening. What if our days here on Earth started to get longer and longer, first by minutes, then by hours?
Whilst this happens and affects all aspects of her life, she is nevertheless still a young girl dealing with everything that growing up entails, and she is moved by a boy she likes helping her out, she is hurt when her old best friend turns her back on her, she is beginning to see her parents in a new light, noticing that they have flaws. Her friendships change, she becomes lonelier and unhappier. 'I had grown into a worrier, a girl on constant guard for catastrophes large and small, for the disappointments I now sensed were hidden all around us right in plain sight.'
Living on clock time, Julia experiences nights full of sunlight, and days at school when the world is in darkness, and it seems like anything could happen now: 'This was a time in my life when things were happening every day that would have seemed impossible only the day before...'
I felt an overwhelming sadness at the thought of what their world had lost; no more birdsong, foods that they would never again eat, people becoming ill or driven mad by the changes in time. This novel isn't heavily laden with scientific theory and explanations of the changes, nor does it give us a view from the masses about what is happening, which some readers may prefer, so if that is the book you are looking for, look elsewhere. Instead it presents to us how one young person's life is altered, and what that person sees happening to those close to them, offering one view of this new reality and how her life goes on with all of this happening around her. Despite all that happens in the world, her life is still in certain ways the life of any young girl, for whom 'no force on earth could slow the forward march of sixth grade.' In focussing on this one perspective, we are given a restricted view of the slowing, and rules out other areas of exploration into this change
Thank you very much to the publisher for kindly offering a review copy of this novel at their book blogger event.
You can visit two websites related to this novel - The Slowing and The Age of Miracles
Below is a video featuring the author introducing the novel.