How many times have you wished for more hours in a day? I do it all the time, either when I want an extra day of sleep, or when I have tons to complete in an impossible time span. In The Age of Miracles, your wish comes true - the days start getting longer. It's called "the slowing," and days grow - sometimes by hours, sometimes by minutes. But when you're wishing for extra time to accomplish things, you don't think about the consequences - and there are intense consequences.
Daylight might last longer than twelve (or twenty, or forty) hours, but that means night lasts just as long. There's confusion over how to account for time: schools are unattended, businesses don't know when to open. The government eventually insists that the world continue on our standard twenty-four hour clock, now called "clock time." However, some portions of the population want to live naturally: they stay up during daylight, even if the sun is still shining at 2am; they try to sleep for the entire time of darkness. As "clock time" becomes widely accepted, those who live on "real time" are harassed until they leave to form their own communities.
There are also issues of the slowing of the earth's rotation affecting tides, gravity, and global warming. When the sun shines for over twenty-four hours straight, it gets too hot to go outside. You get sunburned through your clothes. Likewise, the long stretches of night get unbearably cold.
In the middle of this changing landscape is Julia, an eleven-year-old girl who is trying to find her place in her school's social standing, her family, and herself. She is incredibly wise, despite living in a time of unknown variables. She struggles with loneliness, keeping friends, and becoming close to the boy on whom she's had a long-term crush.
The concept itself is fascinating and took over my mind from start to finish, and still has a grip on my imagination. It is also beautifully written. Certain sentences were so perfect, I teared up. Though the concept is (hopefully!) impossible and fantastic, the whole idea, paired with gorgeous writing, really makes you appreciate things you have now. Ex: When a spaceship was sending up a disc of information about the history of the 21st century, in case there are others in the universe who might someday find it, Julia notes, "Not mentioned on the disc was the smell of cut grass in high summer, the taste of oranges on our lips, the way sand felt beneath our bare feet…"