Fabulous Fiction Firsts #333

Three weeks is a long time to fuss with a blog and it's time to let go. I still don't think I am doing this book justice but I hope you will trust me about this "luminous, haunting, and unforgettable" debut novel by Karen Thompson Walker. The premise is rather simple while the narrative voice is not.

The world awakes one Saturday morning in October to find the rotation of the Earth on its axis slowing down (thus The Slowing). Days and nights grow longer. Gravity is affected. Birds can't fly and people are getting sick. In a California suburb, 11 yr. old Julia is dealing with the catastrophe utterly "unimagined, unprepared for, unknown", with stoic determination and optimistic innocence.

The Age of Miracles * * is middle school - "the time when kids shot up three inches over the summer, when breasts bloomed from nothing, when voices dipped and dove". While some girls turn beautiful, a few boys grow tall, Julia still looks like a child. Apart from the usual adolescent angst of friendship, first love, budding sexuality, Julia must navigate her family's volatile dynamics and secrets; learn the meaning and demands of loyalty, honesty, kindness, and responsibility, against the backdrop of an ever-shifting reality.

"Walker (a former Simon & Schuster editor) captures each moment, intimate and universal, with magical precision. Riveting, heartbreaking, profoundly moving".

Inspired by the Tsunami which packed a force powerful enough to shorten the length of the day by microseconds, the rights to this debut have been sold to 25 countries, with an initial print run of 100,000 - HUGE.

* * = starred reviews


Interesting combination of premises. I'm curious whether the effects of "The Slowing" are scientifically based, or just imagined. Sometimes a poor associated premise can ruin a story for me (like the time paradox in the movie the Lake House. Can't watch it)