by Karen Thompson Walker
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.
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.
I checked this book out from the library based on Flavorwire's (have you heard of Flavorwire? If not, go check them out here. It's awesomeness) recommendation. I'm starting to believe that I will read or watch anything they recommend...but I digress.
This book was extremely interesting. I really don't know how to describe it really! It's very rare that a book does that to me - makes me wonder how I actually feel about it. I can tell you that the idea of the Earth "slowing" was a concept I hadn't heard of before and the idea of the end of the world mixed with a coming-of-age story was what ultimately made me to want to read the book.
The Age of Miracles starts off strong with the introduction of Julia and her average middle school life and then turns it upside down while the reader stands on the sidelines. It drew me in because Julia is very much an average kid with an overprotective mom, a crush on boy and soccer practice. To have such an extraordinary thing, the slowing of the Earth, happen to an ordinary life was jarring to say the least.
It did get a bit slow for awhile and I almost put the book down. The only reason why I couldn't, however, was because of Julia. I had come to care about this character the way one would care about a younger sister or a niece. I wanted to know that Julia was okay. Walker does a fantastic job of making you care about her characters and it was what pulled me through to experience the delights and heartbreaks that comes with growing up and the end of the world.
I recommend this book to those with patience, a love of characters and a penchant for a little sadness.