Dorothy Timmerman's Reviews > The Age of Miracles

The Age of Miracles by Karen Thompson Walker
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's review
Sep 17, 2012

did not like it
Read in September, 2012

Take the world as we have it - we cling to the metaphors of time and daylight with the residue of past civilizations who have taught us what those metaphors mean. We know humanity through the lens of past humanity. Take the world as Karen Thompson Walker presents it - each day the sun rises a little later, and stays in the sky a little longer. The days are bleeding into weeks, without our favorite stars charting our existence at the same speed that they used to. Then do as Walker does, add a little girl, eleven years of age, discovering her middle school years, her "age of miracles," and what is to be expected? Humanity. What is humanity like whenever you take away the clock? How do we stand without that ageless and aging support?

But Walker was not offering a commentary on humanity, nor even yet a statement on the inner workings of her characters. Walker was offering a sensational psuedo-scientific chronicle on the events of one family's lives as they weathered this new solar developement.

This book follows a common veign of contemporary adult literature - events, sensational happenings, unique people, good dialogue, and yet, no statement. Literature is not simply a tool of entertainment, it is a tool of betterment. Even those that I have long disagreed with in literature, I am beginning to favor, simply because they recognize the responsibility they wield whenever they wield a pen. Disgust is too strong a word, so perhaps it is the need of dismissal that I feel when I read a work that the author has taken lightly.

This work is an example of good work, but it is also an unwitting commentary on the apathetic and depressing view that is raving across our culture, and that is pitiable.

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