Julia just found out that her dad was having an affair. Many fields have been replaced with greenhouses, that run on electricity. She also went to a party with her friend, and had beer there. There also were cultists next door that all killed themselves, because they thought the world was ending. A bunch of whales also came ashore, because the magnetic field changed, they and died. Julia also went to her grandfathers for her birthday, but he was missing.
In the novel, how do the changing social and economic conditions affect the characters' decisions?
The changing economic conditions make people want to stock up on food, since things like bananas are already gone. Julia’s mom has fifty jars of peanut butter under her bed. Beef is also now a delicacy, since it’s expensive to have a whole field for cows. A new social factor is that it’s becoming common for people to go join real-time colonies, for religious reasons, or just because they think it’s healthier. For example, Chip and Gabby both decided to go to a real-time colony, because they thought it was better there. The Kaplans went to a Jewish one, so they could have their Sabbath.
What forces motivate the characters' actions and decisions in the novel?
Of course the main force of the book is that the Earth is slowing, but it causes many other problems. One is crops can’t survive in long periods of darkness. Things like bananas aren’t sold anymore. They have to replace open-air fields that use a lot of electricity. This causes many people to stock up on food. Another factor is stress. Many people are concerned about what will happen. Some people join suicide cults. One force is that some clock-timers don’t like real-timers. This makes some clock-timers attack real-timers, making some real-timers want to move away.