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Once Upon A Bookshelf

Where Fiction and Reality Meet

The Age of Miracles

Author: Karen Thompson Walker
Originally Published: 2012
Publisher: Random House
Source: Received a copy from the publisher

The Story

The Age of MiraclesFrom the inside flap of the book:

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 family, the loss of friends, the hopeful anguish of love, the bizarre behaviour of her grandfather, who, convinced of a government conspiracy, spends his days obsessively cataloguing 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, and a moving portrait of family life set against the backdrop of an utterly altered world.

The Response

Okay. Wow. No, seriously. I finished this book and sat staring at the last page for a good half hour just in awe of the wow-factor. I don’t know when the last time that happened with a book.

I can’t believe that this was a debut. I mean, first of all, the concept was so new and fresh. Second of all, it was so amazingly well written. Everything was so fleshed out, the characters were so well developed, the narration was crafted beautifully… you can tell the author put so much love and care into this book. Gods, it just blew my mind.

Julia was just such an amazingly written character. She was so real, and even though she was going through all of this crazy shit with the world’s rotation slowing down, she was still dealing with all kinds of regular growing-up stuff… the first boyfriend, losing the best friend, watching the parents fight all the time… It just made the rest of what was happening in the world so much more real and so much scarier.

There was so much palpable heartache in this book. It was beautifully haunting, and kept me turning page after page, even though it was an uncomfortable world to live in – I mean, just imagine living in a world where everything is changing so drastically so quickly, where the daytime soon stretches into weeks, where if you step outside for more than a few minutes you could get such drastic radiation burns, where the birds fall out of the sky, where people start dying for no apparent reason…

The Age of Miracles was everything that I love best about dystopian fiction. It took our world, and threw something in that seemed like it could be real, and made things the worst it possibly could be, while still maintaining the humanity of the characters within. It shows how we don’t lose hope, no matter how bad things appear to be, and somehow goodness always ends up shining through.

The Bottom Line

I am going to be looking for more of Karen Thompson Walker’s books. And I’m going to be recommending this to everyone. Seriously. It’s good. READ IT.

Posted by Courtney Wilson @ 9:18 am June 25, 2013.
Category: Young Adult
Book Author(s):

  • Sarah Reid

    Totally agree! Absolutely loved this book and looking forward to her next one :)