The Earth is slowing, days are getting longer, the planet is not in sync with clocks anymore. It starts as 56 minutes, then gradually lengthens until the days can last weeks as the Earth slowly moves towards its demise. Julie is an 11-year-old girl when the slowing starts. She tells us the story of how plants and animals withered and died, how people grew sick from gravity sickness, how the world fractured into those living on clock-time and those living on real-time, and of how the Earth died.
This is not a fast-paced, action-packed apocalyptic book. It is a slow, measured study of the end of the world. Even at the end of the world, Julie is still dealing with boys and friends and her parent’s marriage problems. She experiences friendships growing apart, her first love, her mother’s manic worry, and her father’s infidelity. This is set against the background of food shortages, species extinction, radiation from the sun and people disappearing.
On paper this seems more like a young teen novel, but it is written for adults. Julie is telling the story as an adult looking back on her life as an 11-year-old. As such, the voice is not always what you would expect from an 11-year-old girl; some of her insights are too wise, some of her foreshadowing too precise. I enjoyed Julie, but I don’t think this is a book for everyone. For those used to a different type of end of the world saga, they will probably be frustrated by the slow pace. For those wanting answers and scientific facts, they will be disappointed in the lack. We just know the Earth is slowing and the world is dying; we do not know why or how. Therefore, we just have to live our lives and hope for the best.