Tuesday, June 19, 2012

The Age of Miracles by Karen Thompson Walker (Review)

Title: The Age of Miracles
Author: Karen Thompson Walker
Publication Date: June 26, 2012
Publisher: Random House
Source: LibraryThing Early Reviewers Program

The rotation of the Earth has slowed changing the length of the days. At first it is a few additional minutes, then hours, then the days are so long that it seems the night will never come. Twelve year old Julia, and the rest of the world population, must learn to adapt to their rapidly changing environment. Should the hours of daylight and darkness dictate their lifestyle or should people ignore the changing natural rhythms and stick strictly to "clock time"? The change affects the food supply, the gravity, the animals, and the tides. Julia must navigate the perilous changes of her initial teen years against this backdrop of global changes.

If you are looking for a breezy summer read, The Age of Miracles is not that book. It is wonderful and intense and sad and thoughtful but there is nothing light about it. Entering the teen years is difficult enough when the rest of the world is stable. Julia faces these normal teenage growing  pains amidst the complete chaos of a global environmental change. Friendships change as families move away and the teens drift in different directions. Julia changes as she begins to worry more like her mother. She discovers the attraction of boys and the secrets of adults. As she remembers the events of these years, she ponders if things would have been the same without the slowing of the Earth.

If you read this book looking for a reason for the slowing of the Earth's rotation you will be disappointed. The Age of Miracles does not offer a scientific explanation, although a few thoughts are given here and there. It is also not a book reflecting on how we are damaging the Earth and impacting the natural order of the environment, although this is touched upon. The Age of Miracles is primarily about people and relationships and the ability of the human spirit to survive unthinkable changes in our world. It examines how people react so differently to the same set of circumstances and how uncertainty can both pull people together and tear people apart.

The Age of Miracles: A Novel is a short but emotionally intense novel that will make you think about the relationships in your life and how you might react to an uncertain future.

Note: All opinions provided on this blog are my own. If a product was given to me for review, the source of that product is noted in the post. Bookstore links are generally affiliate links and I do earn a small amount for each purchase. Other affiliate links will be noted in the post.
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