Julie Ekkers's Reviews > The Age of Miracles

The Age of Miracles by Karen Thompson Walker
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Sep 01, 12

bookshelves: fiction
Read in August, 2012

In The Age of Miracles, the Earth's rotation begins to slow with catastrophic results for life on it. Against the backdrop of a horror almost too large to grasp, is set the life of a girl, Julia, who is poised between childhood and adolescence and thus grappling with all of the anxieties and thrills that mark that passage. The juxtaposition works beautifully to highlight how the ordinary is, for each individual, often anything but ordinary. I thought the slowing also served to heighten the awareness that comes as one grows older: that as our pasts lengthen and our futures shorten, time speeds up and what's possible narrows. Julia is an only child and I thought the author captured the kind of loneliness that can mark this experience, especially in times of a family crisis when there are no other young people to which to cleave, particularly well. The book has an elegiac tone, but was still somehow a joy to read. I think it's because there is a twin current of defiance that runs through the pages. The two qualities come together in a lovely rush at the book's end.
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