I had heard a lot about this book, so I thought I would see what all the fuss was about. This book definitely didn’t disappoint. It was interesting, informative and thought provoking from the start.
The story is told through the eyes of an eleven year old girl called Julia, who lives in California with her parents. Even though Julia is a loner, she does have some friends and develops a crush for a boy she goes to school with. Julia talks about how at first nobody noticed that the Earth’s rotation was gradually slowing down, causing radical weather changes, earthquakes and tsunamis. How gravity dramatically changed. Objects and people became heavier, falling faster and how things required a little more force and effort. There was a problem with gravity sickness. People fainted, became dizzy and suffered from extreme tiredness. To the people, this change to the Earth was known as “The Slowing”, although they never knew what caused it.
This captured my imagination right from the start. It definitely makes you sit up and think, what if this really does happen! Could the Earth start to slow down, causing days to become longer. First by minutes then by hours, until day becomes night and night becomes day. How would I feel and could I continue with my own existence until it was no longer possible.
We live our lives by the clock and by time. It tells us when to get up, when to eat and when to sleep. We understand time. Sixty seconds in a minute, sixty minutes in an hour, twenty-four hours in a day and so on. We understand the calendar, twelve months in a year but what if there were thirty hours or more in a day, thirteen months in a year, what then?
As Julia explains in the book, there would be total chaos, total confusion, total disruption and total panic and despair.
The author refers to the title “The Age of Miracles”, as a time when young bodies start to change. When beauty and maturity develops and when dreams are dreamt and when anything and everything seems possible, achievable and within easy reach of their grasp. The young felt they had their whole lives ahead of them. Fantasies to be filled and life to be explored, totally unaware of the very different future the Earth would eventually deliver them.
I think one of the most disturbing thoughts of this book, is the disappearing of the magnetic field which protects us from the sun’s harmful radiation. The temperature and radiation could potentially become dangerously high, causing extreme repercussions, resulting in major health declines. Eventually making it impossible to venture outside during daylight hours, even for the smallest amount of time. A very scary thought. Vitamin D would also be required to replace what was needed from the natural sunlight.
Think about food shortages. The limited availability of crops, meat, fruit and vegetables. The currents in our oceans changing beyond recognition. Sea creatures washed up and stranded on our beaches and the absence of musical birds from our sky. It would only be a matter of time before fuel that keeps us alive would run out. Eventually anything living would cease to exist.
Even though this book, for the majority of the time, is dark and melancholic, I have to admire how the author has managed to capture the attention and full imagination of the reader. It had me hooked from the start.
So, to sum this superb novel up, I would say, thought provoking, terrifying and dramatic. A definite recommendation and so it gets a 9/10 from me.
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