“It still amazes me how little we really knew. . . . Maybe everything that happened to me and my family had nothing at all to do with the slowing. It’s possible, I guess. But I doubt it. I doubt it very much.”
On a seemingly ordinary Saturday in a California suburb, Julia and her family awake to discover, along with the rest of the world, that the rotation of the earth has suddenly begun to slow. The days and nights grow longer and longer, gravity is affected, the environment is thrown into disarray. Yet as she struggles to navigate an ever-shifting landscape, Julia is also coping with the normal disasters of everyday life—the fissures in her parents’ marriage, the loss of old friends, the hopeful anguish of first love, the bizarre behavior of her grandfather who, convinced of a government conspiracy, spends his days obsessively cataloging his possessions. As Julia adjusts to the new normal, the slowing inexorably continues.
I liked the prose in this novel. It fit the book perfectly. There was a slow rhythm to the book, a gradual slowing to life just like to the earth. Nothing crazy happened, it was not the usual kind of apocalyptic fiction which is more like standing on top if the roof shouting. Here we just watched those on the roof and contemplated our fate.
Julia is 11 when the earth starts moving slower. There is much to deal with. White nights, long cold dark days when the sun never rises. The world is crumbling around them. Life needs darkness and light to survive, but here they get to much of both. Gravity is turned on its head, the magnetic fields suffer. But people try to go on, they try to cope, they have hope. And that is the beauty in this book, life goes on. Sure there is looting, sure people goes into hiding, but we watch a normal family adjusting to the slowing. All while the main character Julia is dealing with her own crisis. There is s boy she likes, her friends grown apart. It’s a coming of age story in an age of silent despair.
The slow building melancholia hit me in the end. Marvelous. It felt real, it felt scary. No one knew why it happened, but it happened. An earth that does not turn, well turn fast anyway.
This was an end of the world that I liked. It was scary in another sort of way. It kind of does not hit you at first. It creeps up upon you and festers like a bad sore. The end of the world does not need to be all violence and crazy turn of events. It can be silent too.
A great book that I recommend. Just get into the rhythm.
Not a favorite, but, well, it kind of fits in the end
Genre: Fiction, apocalyptic
Published: June 2012 by Random House
Source: For review