"And it seems to me now that the slowing triggered certain other changes too, less visible at first but deeper. It disrupted certain subtler trajectories: the tracks of friendships, for example, the paths toward and away from love. But who am I to say that the course of my childhood was not already set long before the slowing? Perhaps my adolescence was only an average adolescence, the stinging a quite unremarkable stinging. There is such a thing as coincidence: the alignment of two or more seemingly related events with no casual connection. 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."
I absolutely adored this book from the very start all the way to the end, which I cried over in the middle of the gym. I think I must have highlighted at least one sentence on every page, just about.
The world is changing in ways no one can understand, and so is Julia. In the same year she transforms from child to woman, the earth's rotation suddenly and inexplicably begins to slow.
I have no idea how scientifically accurate this concept of "the slowing" is or isn't, but I love the premise and I particularly love the way it plays through Julia's eyes. Setting the story during the transition into adolescence was totally brilliant. There are all kinds of interesting parallels between the planetary changes and the changes in Julia, and the way she observes the miracle and horror of the changing world around her is directly influenced by her own evolution. Things we all dealt with - the shifting of friendships, first love, the painful realization that our parents are flawed and can fail us - are illuminated and made more clear against the backdrop of the first real threat to human life as we know it.
The narrative has a great blend of the wisdom of the adult but the potency and honesty of her younger self. There are so many moments, so many lines in this book that made me stop and pause for their brilliant and beautiful simplicity.
"I had the feeling that he cared about important things. His sadness was always apparent. It was in the angry whip of his wrist as he let the rock go. It was in the tired motion of his head. It was in the way he squinted at the sky but would not look away."