27 July 2012

The Age of Miracles by Karen Thompson Walker

Flap Copy from ARC: "A family in suburban California wakes up one Saturday morning to discover that something has happened to the rotation of the earth: it has begun to slow. The days are getting longer and longer, and there are other disturbing consequences. In the midst of this escalating global catastrophe, Julia, a young woman whose family is at the heart of The Age of Miracles, is coping with the normal catastrophes of ordinary life - changes in her parents and her friends and herself, first love, the struggle to find her way in an utterly altered world."

This coming-of-age novel carries an unusual twist - in addition to all of the normal difficulties that face a young girl entering puberty, Julia's world carries one more: the Earth's rotation is slowing down. As the days get longer and longer, clocks lose their meaning, as do the routines of normal life. Julia, her family and the world must find a way to navigate this new, ever-changing landscape - and Julia's still trying to figure out how to be 'cool', how to be in love, how to be 'normal'.

I thought the premise of the book was unique and interesting, but I didn't find the resolutions I was hoping for in the pages of the story. Walker's attention to detail is commendable - she brought the reader into each and every thought and scene. I found the ending to be a bit hurried, though - I wanted more.

Walker had a clear vision and a great idea, and I definitely recommend The Age of Miracles as a thought provoking read. Not only did I find myself wondering 'what if?', I also remembered that awkward time of pre-teen-hood, and tried to imagine what it would be like to be so uncertain in such an uncertain world. I give this book 4 stars - it's not for the die-hard sci fi fan, but it's certainly a book to make you question your reality.

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