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Amazon link – http://amzn.to/LbjSZN
(Book will be released on June 26, 2012. Pre-Order at 40% off)
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 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.
“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.”
With a voice as distinctive and original as that of The Lovely Bones, and for the fans of the speculative fiction of Margaret Atwood, Karen Thompson Walker’s The Age of Miracles is a luminous, haunting, and unforgettable debut novel about coming of age set against the backdrop of an utterly altered world.
Karen Thompson Walker is a graduate of UCLA and the Columbia MFA program.A former book editor, she wrote The Age of Miracles in the mornings before work.Born and raised in San Diego, California, she now lives in Brooklyn with her husband.
What’s inside the book:
A Video Review by someone:
I’ve been lucky enough to get a proof copy of this wonderful book. I couldn’t put it down. I can’t wait for Karen Thompson Walker to write another. Apparently, she’s taken a year off to do so. She’s a brilliant, insightful writer. No doubt, the film rights have been bought already.
What a lovely, sad, sweet, wonderful book; I’m almost surprised at how well I liked it, since it’s somewhat outside of my usual reading fare.
Basic premise: the earth has suddenly slowed in its rotation; no one quite knows why. First just a few minutes each day, and then the days stretch even longer until a single rotation takes as long as 50 hours to complete. This has many disastrous and frightening effects – it changes gravity, the circadian rhythms of plants and people; birds die first. I won’t say more than that, but these disasters happen in a quiet and wholly believable way, the author also does a great job at portraying how this information would come out and be received by people through various media channels.
I really liked the main character – she was low-key and a bit of a misfit in an understated way (not in a hugely ego-driven way as you sometimes get when this is a theme). She’s in sixth grade when the story begins, although she is narrating from a later time, you don’t know until the end quite how old she is. In the midst this environmental disaster, she comes-of-age in a quiet, somber way – loses many of her best friends, discovers secrets about her parents and comes to know their weaknesses, falls in love.
Nicely done! Melancholy little book, all the more so for being so believable; just a good read – understated and deeply moving all the way around.
Almost all of us have wished for more hours in the day at one time or another, right? Well, in “The Age of Miracles”, that wish comes true. One day, scientists announce that the Earth’s rotation has started to slow down. No one really knows what it means, or why it’s happening, so everyone basically holds their breath and does what they can to adapt as every single event, both commonplace and complex, must be redefined, over and over and over again as the days continue to lengthen.
Eleven year old Julia is our guide through this. She observes the events around her with the typical detachment of a pre-teen, which is a tremendous benefit to the reader- we get the information, the strange statistics of how the world is changing, but there’s no details that bog the story down. We are able to witness it as a child might, and as Julia does- while it’s scary, it’s also just the *tiniest* bit exciting and alluring, as well.
The earth may be falling apart, but life still goes on at Julia’s middle school as it always has and always will- kids are vicious to one another and follow a complex pecking order that does not change even though the end of the world is on everyone’s mind.
On top of that, a great divide develops about how to observe time- the government issues “clock time”, which means regardless of the sun’s place in the sky, people are urged to go about their daily lives based on what the clock reads. But there are people who choose to go off that clock, and as the days grow longer and longer, their lives greatly veer off from the rest of society.
The best thing about “The Age of Miracles” is that it’s *very* compelling without being oppressive. It’s a turbulent story, but Julia is a gentle soul. Through her “filter”, I was able to become completely engrossed in the story without getting lost in the terrible details. And because the event is a gradual one, no one is quite sure *if* the world might end, or if this is just another thing that life on this planet must adapt to.
This is an amazing and beautifully written book. I highly, highly recommend it.
-By Chel Micheline (Southwest Florida)
Amazon link – http://amzn.to/LbjSZN