When Earth slows its spinning, haphazardly adding extra minutes to the day , Julia and her family (along with the rest of the world) don’t really notice. Not straight away. But in the weeks and months that follow, Julia’s world will kind of turn upside down. This is partially due to the strangeness of the situation, and also because Julia will soon become a teenager – a turbulent period at the best of times.
Decisions need to be made that will allow for some predictability and ‘normalness’ of life to remain – and in this case the USA decides to go right on living as if nothing was going wrong. The way this plays out in a book written several years before the COVID-19 pandemic is pretty prescient. The difference is that in this scenario, it’s not a virus people are playing down, but the day/night cycles that have ruled for as long as we have inhabited the planet. When the turning of Earth first starts slowing down, no pattern can be detected. One day you might wake up and find an extra 56 minutes were added to the day; the next day it might be 2 hours. Things get tricky – when should school start/train timetables run/people go to sleep and wake up? To overcome this the government decides to stick to ‘clock time’ meaning that school might start in pitch black at 9am or people may be trying to sleep through an entire ‘bright night’.
All the while, Julia experiences changes within herself and her relationships with family and friends, that anyone who has been a teenager will relate to.
It’s a really interesting premise and the alignment of the chaos/adaption/chaos/adaption to Julia’s personal life was well done. This was a nice holiday read to knock over in a day or two.