The Age of Miracles
A NovelBook - 2012
On a seemingly ordinary Saturday morning, Julia and her family wake to discover, along with the rest of the world, that the rotation of the earth has suddenly begun to slow. Set against this threat to normal life, The Age of Miracles maps the effects of catastrophes big and small on the lives of ordinary people, and in particular, one young girl. Extraordinary for its original concept, unforgettable characters, and the grace, elegance and beauty of Karen Thompson Walker's prose, The Age of Miracles is a mesmerizing story of family turmoil, young love, and coming-of-age set against an upending of life as we know it.
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Spare, unselfconscious, this debut novel is as startling in its premise as it is in its sense of "rightness." It is a small gem.
Julia, the narrator and main character, is an eleven-year Southern California only child whose mother, a part-time acting teacher, and father, an ob-gyn, respond to the world in markedly different ways, leaving Julia to occupy the middle ground linking them together. Her observing voice recalls, from a distance, the long-ago time when a day lasted 24 hours, divided predictably between darkness and light. But on the cusp of adolescence, Julia's ordinary concerns (flat-chestedness, popularity, soccer) are eclipsed by an epochal shift, soon named The Slowing: days are gradually lengthening, rendering "clock time" meaningless.
Julia's telling of this catastrophic change never strays into the histrionic. The result is completely, disturbingly believable novel that will resonate with YA and adult audiences alike.
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