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The Age of Miracles by Karen Thompson Walker

The Age of Miracles

by Karen Thompson Walker

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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2,6502923,351 (3.66)162
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    BookshelfMonstrosity: Despite differences in plot -- a teenager's post-murder afterlife in The Lovely Bones, and civilization's slow, steady collapse in the aftermath of disaster in The Age of Miracles -- the thoughtful young heroines of these melancholy, haunting stories are similar to one another.… (more)
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English (300)  Portuguese (Portugal) (1)  Dutch (1)  Hungarian (1)  German (1)  All languages (304)
Showing 1-5 of 300 (next | show all)
Interesting and well-written, although gloomy reading. If you are a fan of dystopian stories, I recommend this book. ( )
  RobertaLea | Apr 10, 2019 |
The Age of Miracles by Karen Thompson Walker is about a world where the days get longer on Earth. The effects of "the slowing" are seen through the eyes of 11 year old Julia. Thompson's writing style is succinct and elegant, however the story leaves the reader feeling unfulfilled. While social constructs break down and everyday life is being reconstructed, Thompson leaves the reader asking for more. We see society being reshaped, but the narrative lacks detail. Interesting characters and plots are introduced, but not developed. The premise of the novel is quite enthralling - a world potentially nearing the end of its life. Animals are dying off in groves, the food supply is dwindling, and humans are fighting the negative effects of the slowing on their bodies. However, these occurrences are merely peripheral. It feels as if the main story is about how Julia is trying to make it through school, crushes, and puberty and it just so happens that the world is also falling apart. Thompson story is unique and is an easy read, however the heavy subject matter lacks depth. 3/5. ( )
  saudia89 | Feb 26, 2019 |
The Age of Miracles is definitely much different than anything I've gotten my hands on lately. Beautiful, eerie, and prosaic, this book walks the line between being a coming of age story and a dystopian one. Julia's family is caught in a world that is slowly deteriorating. The Earth is slowing its rotation, days and nights are getting longer, humanity as we know it is in survival mode. Caught up in all this is Julia herself, a young adolescent who is just trying to navigate her own life. Imagine having all the problems you do now, but with the addition of worrying about whether tomorrow will bring famine, huge earthquakes, or worse. That's Julia's reality.

Julia is a bit of an outsider. She observes everything, and reports back to the reader what is happening around her. Her life is spent between dealing with everyday issues, like being the only girl at school who doesn't yet wear a bra, and the issues that come with her new world, like wondering if tomorrow there will be food to eat. What I completely loved about this book though is that it really isn't dreary. Julia's story does have a fair share of hardship and woe. However what she chooses to focus on most times are the good parts. Her boy. A sunny day. The feeling of belonging. It is a wonderful testament to the resilience of the human spirit.

I'm not going to deny that Mrs. Walker's story definitely rattled me. The catastrophe that occurs in Julia's world is one that could honestly take place. The attention to detail is wonderful, and the dystopian world that is built is entirely believable. Every problem that occurs is explained with a mixture of facts and sweeping prose. In fact, the writing is so beautiful that I was lost in it more than once. This is a story that you will definitely read from cover to cover. Don't expect to put it down. Once you fall in love with Julia and her story, you'll want to see it through to the end.

The Age of Miracles is a story of survival. It's a story of adaptation. Above all else, it's a story of a young girl who is just trying to find herself in an ever-changing world. This is a gorgeously written book, and one that is well worth your time. If you are looking for something that will have you thinking long after you've put it down, this is one to add to your reading list. Thank you to Karen Thompson Walker for showing us the strength of the human spirit through the eyes of one young girl.
( )
  roses7184 | Feb 5, 2019 |
Life is going along as expected until one day, scientist realize that the days were starting to stretch. It was minor at first - a minute longer, then two. But by the time it is brought to the public's attention, the day has stretched by 10 minutes longer. The scientist have discovered that the rotation of the earth has slowed. Everything starts to change - days and nights grow longer, gravity changes, birds start to die off, the tides and human behavior change. Scientist urge everyone to continue on as normal - to "keep to the clock".

There are people that try to say they are going to follow the days and nights - no matter how long they become. But even those folks can no longer cope as the days stretch to 60 and then 72 hours long. Schools and businesses try to stay open and it isn't until the power starts to turn off and on that people start to panic. In the end, what scientist call the "syndrome" takes the lives of many people. People can no longer go out during the day because of the radiation. Crops start to die off and scientist still have no figured out how to grow them without the sun. Time passes and relationship change and the earth turns slower and slower. The scientist and experts have no idea how long it will last before it stops all together.

This was a really fast read. I have read a lot of intense books this year, so this was kind of a nice "fluff" book. And it is one of my favorites - dystopian futures. Although just once I would like that future to be fantastic instead of "everyone is doing to die!"

I read this in a day and a half, and it held my interest. The main character is 11 when the book starts - the age of my youngest daughter - and 23 when it ends. It is an interesting concept - the earth's rotation slowing to almost a stop. I was intrigued by the uniqueness of this idea.

Check it out. ( )
  JenMat | Jan 10, 2019 |
Well written, interesting premise, the story itself has more to do with a young girl's coming of age than the end of the world, and the two things never seem to come together until near the end of the book. The ending is abrupt and somewhat disappointing, but realistic--it left me wanting to know more. ( )
  unclebob53703 | Jan 3, 2019 |
Showing 1-5 of 300 (next | show all)
"The Age of Miracles"? More like: "The Age of Disasters"! Before I get into why I say that, I'll elaborate on what the book is about. First off, it's actually a very well written book. it's told from the point of view of a middle school aged girl and the events in the story take place are told through her perspective. Everything was fine, until the days started to get longer. First it was only by a few minutes everyday, then it escalated to half an hour, then a full hour, then hours, until people who were stuck on the side of the hemisphere facing the Sun found that the suns hostile rays make the outside world totally inhospitable. people were forced to permanently take refuge inside their household as a slight reprieve to escape a heat-related death.

The reason I call it "The Age of Disasters" is because of how terribly things spiral out of control. Everyday lives are thrown out of whack as people scramble to reorient themselves into their new reality. I went into the book having almost no prior knowledge about its plot. I thought it would be a lot happier than what it was on account of it having the word "Miracles" in the title. And boy was I wrong.

The ending of this book doesn't even come close to the word "bittersweet." It's just plain bitter to me. It doesn't delve too deeply into the fate of humanity, but a 20 year time-skip does show you what becomes of the main character and her family, sans her love interest who she hasn't seen since the suns powerful rays gave him cancer and forced him to move to new mexico for treatment. They promised that they'd keep in touch, and meant it, but due to unknown reasons the letters the main character sent to him were never returned and they never saw one another again. My guess is that the treatment failed and he didn't survive, or maybe they never made it to new mexico at all.

This is a great, albeit depressing book.
added by morgan434 | editReading the actual book, who else? Me (Apr 17, 2015)
What sets the story apart from more run-of-the-mill high-concept novels is Ms. Walker’s decision to recount the unfolding catastrophe from the perspective of Julia, who is on the verge of turning 12. Her voice turns what might have been just a clever mash-up of disaster epic with sensitive young-adult, coming-of-age story into a genuinely moving tale that mixes the real and surreal, the ordinary and the extraordinary with impressive fluency and flair.

“The Age of Miracles” is not without its flaws. There are moments when the spell the author has so assiduously created wobbles, and moments when a made-for-Hollywood slickness seeps into the story. Some minor plot developments feel as if they had been created simply for pacing, and Ms. Walker sometimes seems so determined to use Julia’s circumscribed life as a microcosm of the larger world that the reader has to be reminded that “the slowing” is supposedly a planet-altering phenomenon.
added by ozzer | editNYTimes, MICHIKO KAKUTANI (Jun 18, 2012)

» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Karen Thompson Walkerprimary authorall editionscalculated
Card, Emily JaniceNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Here in the last minutes, the very end of the world,
someone's tightening a screw thinner than an eyelash,
someone with slim wrists is straightening flowers...

Another End of the World, James Richardson
For my parents and for Casey
First words
We didn't notice right away.

We did not sense at first the extra time, bulging from the smooth edge of each day like a tumor blooming beneath skin.
Sometimes the saddest stories take the fewest words...
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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(from the publisher)
On a seemingly ordinary Saturday in a California suburb, twelve-year-old 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.  Amidst this altered environment, Julia also faces a new kind of transformation – growing up.  Coping with the normal disasters of everyday life (the loss of friends, struggles in her parents’ marriage, and the anguish of first love) she grapples to find her way on a changing world.
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Imagines the coming-of-age story of young Julia, whose world is thrown into upheaval when it is discovered that the Earth's rotation has suddenly begun to slow, posing a catastrophic threat to all life.

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