Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Review: The Age of Miracles by Karen Thompson Walker

The Age of Miracles by Karen Thompson Walker (June 2012, Simon & Schuster UK, ISBN: 0857207237)

Review: I've been so looking forward to reading The Age of Miracles after the publishing deal was announced and it didn't disappoint.

The story is told in retrospect by Julia who tells the reader about what happened when she was 11 and the year following it. Set about ten years in the future, it is revealed by scientists that the earth's rotation is slowing. Just a few minutes at first but with no obvious cause and the days continue to lengthen. Initially the world copes by sticking to living in the day sleeping in the dark but then a decision is made to stick with a twenty-four hour day, “clock time”, ignoring the light/darkness issue. A splinter group forms of “real timers” who try and stick to the sleep/dark, live/light routine which causes discontent. The “slowing” begins to affect the plants and animals and then humans...

Meanwhile Julia's life undergoes significant milestones – the change in friendships, the possibility of first love, loss and loneliness and disappointments.

The Age of Miracles is an adult fiction book which can be read by teenagers, no problem but will appeal more to an older audience I think, one that has had a few years of life experience and to whom age eleven is a nostalgic while ago!

It has a conversational and matter of fact tone which draws you in and you just want to read a bit more. There is a science-fiction backdrop but this is a coming-of-age story and the things that happen to Julia may have happened without the catalyst of the slowing but the danger the earth and the human race is in ups the pressures on everyone.

I really loved The Age of Miracles and it's one that's stayed with me. I look forward to seeing what Karen Thompson Walker writes next.

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