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.”
This is such an entertaining book, one that works on so many levels. It’s a coming of age story, a love story and, most significantly, a tale of survival.
I am not a scientifically-minded person (in school, I always did better with English and history) but this seems all too plausible. Well, to be more specific, it seems possible that the days could suddenly and randomly get longer and, if that happened, we wouldn’t know why. Also, if that happened, dramatic things would occur as a result.
Stories like this always terrify me because it shows just how useless my skill set would become if a catastrophic event were to occur. It’s like that episode in 30 R0ck where Jack asks Liz what she’d be in a similar event and she suggested she’d be a traveling bard and he corrected her: “Radiation canary.”
Most notable, though, is how quickly unusual events become commonplace. It doesn’t take long for the idea of night meaning “dark” to seem ridiculous, for example.
This is a wonderful book (and yes, more than a little scary). Recommended.