The Age of Miracles
Karen Thompson Walker
Genre: Dystopian Fiction
Summary (from Goodreads): “It still amazes me how little we really knew. . . . Maybe everything that happened to me and my family had nothing at all to do with the slowing. It’s possible, I guess. But I doubt it. I doubt it very much.”
Luminous, haunting, unforgettable, The Age of Miracles is a stunning fiction debut by a superb new writer, a story about coming of age during extraordinary times, about people going on with their lives in an era of profound uncertainty.
On a seemingly ordinary Saturday in a California suburb, 11-year-old Julia and her family awake to discover, along with the rest of the world, that the rotation of the earth has suddenly begun to slow. The days and nights grow longer and longer, gravity is affected, the environment is thrown into disarray. Yet as she struggles to navigate an ever-shifting landscape, Julia is also coping with the normal disasters of everyday life--the fissures in her parents’ marriage, the loss of old friends, the hopeful anguish of first love, the bizarre behavior of her grandfather who, convinced of a government conspiracy, spends his days obsessively cataloging his possessions. As Julia adjusts to the new normal, the slowing inexorably continues.
With spare, graceful prose and the emotional wisdom of a born storyteller, Karen Thompson Walker has created a singular narrator in Julia, a resilient and insightful young girl, and a moving portrait of family life set against the backdrop of an utterly altered world.
Review: I don't know whether to classify this book as young adult or not, and that's making it hard to write this review because I guess I hold young adult books to a lower standard. It's a coming of age story narrated by a woman reminiscing about being an eleven year old girl, and I think the author does a good job depicting the feelings of a lonely pre-teen girl. It's introspective and beautifully written, but a little slow moving. And the science! The apocalyptic slowing of the earth was an imaginative premise, but the science was either lacking or sketchy, and the scientists were unbelievably clueless. Overall, though, it was a quick and interesting read, with a sympathetic main character, and I enjoyed it.
Rating: 3.5 stars