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The Age of Miracles by Karen Thompson Walker
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The Age of Miracles (edition 2012)

by Karen Thompson Walker

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1,755None4,002 (3.68)106
Member:Fliss88
Title:The Age of Miracles
Authors:Karen Thompson Walker
Info:Simon & Schuster (2012), Edition: First Edition, Hardcover, 384 pages
Collections:Read but unowned, Public library book
Rating:***
Tags:Science Fiction, America

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The Age of Miracles by Karen Thompson Walker

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Showing 1-5 of 222 (next | show all)
I was so intrigued by the premise of this book, and it did not disappoint! The author gives us a very unique spin on a coming-of-age tale. The narrator is Julia, looking back on her life in the year of "The Slowing." Even though she narrates as a young woman looking back on her life as a younger girl, there is still a child-like innocence to her recollection. Really beautiful narrative voice here.

The California suburb where Julia and her family live is peopled with interesting characters, including Sylvia, Julia's piano teacher and a New Age enthusiast who rebels against "Clock Time" and lives as a "real-timer." As the world begins to change, so do the people on it; however, everyone struggles to find some normalcy in their life.

Despite the drastic world circumstances, Julia still experiences the things that every young teen experiences: fights with best friends, embarrassing moments, first love. These experiences are real, but set against unsettling, awe-inspiring backdrops (beach mansions that have succumbed to the tides, populated by sea creatures, and the school yard in the midst of a total solar eclipse, were my favorites).

Karen Thompson Walker's debut novel is a thought-provoking read with some beautiful lines and memorable characters. I highly recommend it to anyone looking for something different. ( )
  thereaderscommute | Apr 13, 2014 |
I was so intrigued by the premise of this book, and it did not disappoint! The author gives us a very unique spin on a coming-of-age tale. The narrator is Julia, looking back on her life in the year of "The Slowing." Even though she narrates as a young woman looking back on her life as a younger girl, there is still a child-like innocence to her recollection. Really beautiful narrative voice here.

The California suburb where Julia and her family live is peopled with interesting characters, including Sylvia, Julia's piano teacher and a New Age enthusiast who rebels against "Clock Time" and lives as a "real-timer." As the world begins to change, so do the people on it; however, everyone struggles to find some normalcy in their life.

Despite the drastic world circumstances, Julia still experiences the things that every young teen experiences: fights with best friends, embarrassing moments, first love. These experiences are real, but set against unsettling, awe-inspiring backdrops (beach mansions that have succumbed to the tides, populated by sea creatures, and the school yard in the midst of a total solar eclipse, were my favorites).

Karen Thompson Walker's debut novel is a thought-provoking read with some beautiful lines and memorable characters. I highly recommend it to anyone looking for something different. ( )
  thereaderscommute | Apr 13, 2014 |
Amazing! Couldn't put this book down! ( )
  KatieCarella | Apr 12, 2014 |
An eerily haunting book about Julia and her family in the days after the earth's rotation slows. It's an interesting depiction of human behavior and how some people adapt, others stubbornly hold out and everyone has fear of change; how they handle it is the beauty of the book. ( )
  obedah | Mar 26, 2014 |
I enjoyed this book very much.

The story is narrated by Julia, and as she entered adolesence, the world fell into disaster: the rotation of the earth slowed. The days became longer as the sun rose later and later with each passing day. Plants and animals began to die out. People started experiencing strange symptoms from the slowing.

During this time, Julia is in her "age of miracles", the teen years where days are long and anything is possible. But in her case, the days were becoming longer but life becomes fleeting, and the impossible becoming possible is putting the whole world at risk.

Julia experiences many joys and bitterness: she loses her best friend, she sees her parents drifting apart, she experiences death and destruction. But she also finds love.

The book is dark and melancholic, but I find myself drawn very much to Julia because of her quiet and passive character as a single child. She has a part of her who is brave and empathetic. What she experiences, though magnified by "the slowing", is what many of us go through during our own adolescent years.

I only wished the ending wasn't so abrupt, but the final paragraph was so perfect, I don't think it could've ended any other way.
  deadgirl | Mar 25, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 222 (next | show all)
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)
 
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Epigraph
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
Dedication
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.
Quotations
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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