Eleven year old Julia and her family wake to find the earth’s rotation has slowed. The days begin to lengthen; at first only by a few extra minutes. But the minutes quickly add into hours, and clocks become out of sync with the sun. Scientists scramble to discover why the earth is slowing while the population struggles to adapt to a changing world.
A sense of reality lurks like a vague discomfort throughout the novel. Families hoard food and supplies as the 24 hour news sensationally reports each new development. Some people, like Julia’s mom, develop “The Syndrome,” a mysterious illness related to gravitational changes. Everyone deals with the insomnia caused by “black days” and “white nights”. And Julia learns to cope as she experiences loss, first love, and the fragility of her parent’s marriage.
The Age of Miracles is a quiet and compelling coming-of-age novel. Readers may be put off by a lack of action—the slowing is the plot. But Julia’s youthful insights are poetic; they make the reader pause to think about the world we take for granted.