REVIEW: The Age of Miracles by Karen Thompson Walker
There are many ways a novel can effect us. Usually when I read a book that moves me I'm instantly on twitter extolling it's virtues and my emotions towards the book.
When I finished Age of Miracles I closed the last page and put it in my review basket. I felt a stillness, a pause, a waiting. I didn't run to twitter or even update it to Read status on my goodreads account I just waited. A few days ago I was talking to one of my clients about books and found myself talking about Age of Miracles. It was as if a flood gate had opened, as I began to tell her about the book. Everything I had felt and experienced came rushing out.
When I was done my client exclaimed " Wow that sounds like an amazing book" It is. In retrospect I attribute my lack of reaction to the nature of the novel. It doesn't "feel" like fiction. Instead it feels like a voyeuristic exploration of one family at the end of life as they and the human race know it.
Julia is our guide through the changing landscape of a contemporary California life. It all begins with an announcement. The Earth has slowed it's rotation and the day's are getting longer. The news is met with the expected reactions: panic , hoarding and desperate fleeing. The reactions shift as the truth settles on everyone. There is no place to run.
When panic subsides humans return to what they always have done. Live. When the government decides to run on a 24 hour day, society splits Some decide to not follow "real " time, this means that while most citizens sleep others are awake and out of sync. So even you closest neighbor is now living days sometimes weeks behind the general population.
Julia tries to move through her daily routines but as with the Earth her orbit at school has shifted. Her best friend Hanna has moved away and she finds her self at odds with the schools new social landscape. Julia begins to focus on Seth a young boy she has had strong feelings for.
There is a slow unfolding to this book. I really expected there to be more danger or major shifts in action as the world moves slowly towards its fate. Then I realised that the point of this book is the story through Julia's eyes. We experience everything with her : the strain of her parents marriage, the stirrings of first love and the courage to dream of a future in in a world that may be falling apart.
A wonderful debut by an author I'm looking forward to reading more from.
Thanks for being on the tour!