Thursday, June 28, 2012

(89)The Age of Miracles by Karen Thompson Walker

The Age of Miracles 

Pages: 288
Publication Date: June 26, 2012

Here we go again!  My "the world is coming to an end" obsession is rearing it's ugly head again!  But, in my defense, this time I can honestly say that I had no clue that The Age of Miracles was post-apocalyptic.

Eleven year old Julia wakes up one morning after a sleep over with her best friend, Hannah.  They had been camped out on the living room floor in their PJ's when Julia's mother rushes home from the store and demands that they turn on the television.  Sometime in the middle of the night the Earth's rotation started to slow down. In an event that came to be known as "The Slowing" the rotation of the Earth became increasingly slower until the days became 72 hours long.  As the days and weeks go by the country is divided into two factions, the "real timers" and those who live by the clock, not the rising and setting of the sun.  The division is where the discord really starts and Julia's world becomes a little less safe with each passing day.  Will the human race be able to survive "The Slowing" or will Her inhabitants self destruct long before nature can do it for them?

The Age of Miracles is a beautifully written masterpiece.   Written in an almost lyrical fashion the story is told solely from the viewpoint of eleven year old Julia.  While she is an observant young girl and is well aware of the changes going on with the world, and her family, she does not portray the catastrophic sense of doom that blankets most post-apocalyptic novels.  Don't be mistaken though, that fear - that urgency - lies just beneath the surface with Julia's anxiety ridden Mother and disappearing classmates, it is just not dominant in this novel.  Julia is, instead, a young girl on the verge of blossoming into a young woman and is forced to navigate the ever changing world that "The Slowing" has created, at the same time having to deal with your typical school girl troubles like when to buy your first bra or dealing with your first crush.

Bottom line, the voice of Julia is so beautifully written it is so very easy to find yourself swept up into the concerns of her world as it seems to be coming to an end.  Julia and her family are the kind of characters that have traits we all can relate to in one way or another, whether it be the anxiety of Julia's mother or the paradox that grips Julia's father, we can all find something in common with these characters. While the book is written for adults, there is no reason why your Young Adult would not be able to read The Age of Miracles.  The "What if's" portrayed in this novel would certainly make for a good discussion between anyone who has read the book.  Give it a read and let me know what you think. 


Sara Bell said...

Ha, I'm about halfway through this one right now, hoping to finish it tonight or tomorrow. =]
Your description is perfectly accurate to me so far!

Why I Read...

I remember the carefree summer days when I used to ride my bike to the public library to pick out new books. I would go almost daily to find books to read. I read to learn. I read to explore the world. I read to escape. I read because not reading is not an option.

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