Louise's Reviews > The Age of Miracles

The Age of Miracles by Karen Thompson Walker
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Aug 20, 12

bookshelves: literature-fiction
Read in August, 2012

Story Description:

Doubleday Canada|June 26, 2012|Hardcover|ISBN: 978-0-385-67663-2

From a stunning new literary voice comes a brilliant debut novel that created an international auction frenzy, with sales in twenty-seven countries to date, about a young girl growing up in extraordinary times.

On a seemingly ordinary Saturday morning, Julia and her family wake to discover, along with the rest of the world, that the rotation of the earth has suddenly begun to slow. Set against this threat to normal life, The Age of Miracles maps the effects of catastrophes big and small on the lives of ordinary people, and in particular, on a young girl. Extraordinary for its original concept, unforgettable characters, and the grace, elegance and beauty of Karen Thompson Walker’s prose, The Age of Miracles is a mesmerizing story of family turmoil, young love, and coming-of-age set against an upending of life as we know it.

My Review:

Eleven-year-old, Julia is learning to cope with the many changes that accompany growing up. Her very best friend, Hanna seems to have deserted her, her parents aren’t getting along all that well, she sees her father with another woman in the other woman’s home while he is supposed to be at work, and the boy she has a crush on, Seth Moreno, acknowledges her one day and totally ignores her the next.

Then Julia is forced to deal with a real life, scary situation. On a Saturday morning, Julia and her parents, along with the rest of the world, learn that the earth’s rotation is slowing down which means the length of each day is getting longer and longer and no one seems to know why. Some scientists think they have it all figured out while other scientists think they’re wrong. Regardless, this is real, it is happening, and the days are getting longer and longer causing all sorts of problems. This lengthening of days goes on for so long that it now takes multiple twenty-four hour periods to see the sun. The earth’s magnetic field has shifted and some people are getting sick, folks cannot go outside during the lengthy hours of sunlight as the sun is burning their skin through their clothing. Families, governments, stores, and schools all try to adapt the best way they can. Kids are going to school at night, sometimes during the day, people are stock-piling food, water, and batteries, thinking the end of the world is coming, while others are moving their families to live in communes.

The story is narrated by eleven-year-old, Julia so really more of the story is about coming-of-age but also part sci-fi and part young adult fiction. However, as a full grown adult I did thoroughly enjoy the book. It is beautifully written and I will be recommending it to my friends.

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