I received this book free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.The Age of Miracles by Karen Thompson Walker
Published by Random House on June 26, 2012
Genres: Coming-of-Age, Dystopian/Post-Apocalyptic
“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.”
On a seemingly ordinary Saturday in a California suburb, 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.
“We have no way of knowing if this trend will continue. But we suspect it will continue.”
Our days had grown by fifty-six minutes in the night.
I had some difficulty getting into this story at first and I set it aside a number of times. Once I fell into the pattern of life right along with Julia I found myself enthralled and I couldn’t put it down. It took me 5 days to read the first 25% and 6 hours to read the final 75%.
This is essentially a written account told from the POV of an eleven-year-old girl, Julia, of when the Earth’s rotation began to slow. The slow build-up, in the beginning, was interesting I thought because it wasn’t truly suspenseful since it was told from the POV of someone so young, someone who really lacked the ability to comprehend what was happening.
‘I could tell he was hoping not to scare us, but that was the thing: We kids were not as afraid as we should have been. We were too young to be scared, too immersed in our own small worlds, too convinced of our own permanence.’
The commentary that alluded to a future that had yet to happen was eerie yet made you desperate to find out what happened to these people as a result of the phenomenon. Through Julia’s eyes, we watch her and the people in her life grow and adapt to the changing times. Slowly but surely more issues start occurring and life on Earth became anything but simple.
It’s hard to imagine a normal day lasting any longer than 24 hours but after that first night, the day extended beyond that: 24 hours and 56 minutes. That in and of itself was shocking but as each day passes more and more time is added on to the ‘normal day’. The innocence of Julia definitely tones down the seriousness of the situation but it’s still a scary and potentially realistic reality. This is one any apocalyptic fan shouldn’t miss.