HomeGroupsTalkZeitgeist
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

The Age of Miracles by Karen Thompson Walker
Loading...

The Age of Miracles (edition 2012)

by Karen Thompson Walker (Author)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1,755None4,002 (3.68)106
katiekrug's review
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
An ordinary coming of age story set in extraordinary circumstances, this debut novel is beautifully written and true to the perspective of it's 11-year old narrator, Julia. All of the uncertainty, resentment and angst of adolescence are captured while the details of a worldwide catastrophe throw the banality of everyday life into stark relief. ( )
  katiekrug | Jun 9, 2012 |
All member reviews
Showing 1-25 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 |
I cannot find one redeeming quality about this book. The story begins with the earth having more minutes in the day, and the set times and periods of the day run amiss. The story centers on an eleven year old girl, Julia, and her family and friends, as people feel the end of time draws near. The story line is tedious and mundane. Nothing could compel me to finish the book. ( )
  delphimo | Mar 9, 2014 |
Loved the idea of the book and in parts it really drew me in....but all in all the project as a whole fell flat for me. ( )
  dms02 | Feb 27, 2014 |
I was excited about the book, because of the great premise: Earth's rotation slows, days get longer, nights get longer, then what? I thought that was a brilliant idea, and my mind started spinning out possible ways the story could go. Possible implications, possible consequences. The narrator is a 10-year-old girl, and I thought that could be interesting too, because it's hard and awkward to be 10 years old on the best of days.

But the story was a let-down to me, from beginning to end. After several instances of "and that was the last time X happened" (e.g., "and that was the last orange I'd ever eat"), or instances that suggested something was about to be known or explained, I just got annoyed. The reason for the Earth's slowing didn't have to be explained, but at least one or two of the intimations needed to be followed through in some way, instead of simply left hanging.

If Walker's point was that nothing in the world -- either the natural world, or the world of human relationships -- makes any sense at all, that everything is just confusing and makes no sense and people do things for absolutely no reason at all, they leave for no clear reason and they come back for no clear reason, then the book made the point. But that didn't make for a satisfying read. I kept reading because I thought at least one thing would come together in some way, and when I finished the last sentence I was mad about having spent all the time with the book.

Different strokes, and all that. This one did absolutely nothing for me. AND! What miracles?? The title is "The Age of Miracles" and I can't recall a single miracle. Unless 'miracle' means one bad thing after another, with no redemption. That's fine, it's just not my understanding of what that word means. ( )
  StormySleep | Feb 6, 2014 |
I was excited about the book, because of the great premise: Earth's rotation slows, days get longer, nights get longer, then what? I thought that was a brilliant idea, and my mind started spinning out possible ways the story could go. Possible implications, possible consequences. The narrator is a 10-year-old girl, and I thought that could be interesting too, because it's hard and awkward to be 10 years old on the best of days.

But the story was a let-down to me, from beginning to end. After several instances of "and that was the last time X happened" (e.g., "and that was the last orange I'd ever eat"), or instances that suggested something was about to be known or explained, I just got annoyed. The reason for the Earth's slowing didn't have to be explained, but at least one or two of the intimations needed to be followed through in some way, instead of simply left hanging.

If Walker's point was that nothing in the world -- either the natural world, or the world of human relationships -- makes any sense at all, that everything is just confusing and makes no sense and people do things for absolutely no reason at all, they leave for no clear reason and they come back for no clear reason, then the book made the point. But that didn't make for a satisfying read. I kept reading because I thought at least one thing would come together in some way, and when I finished the last sentence I was mad about having spent all the time with the book.

Different strokes, and all that. This one did absolutely nothing for me. AND! What miracles?? The title is "The Age of Miracles" and I can't recall a single miracle. Unless 'miracle' means one bad thing after another, with no redemption. That's fine, it's just not my understanding of what that word means. ( )
  StormySleep | Feb 6, 2014 |
Weakly science fictional and so bloody boring. Dreamy, dopey prose that did nothing for me except make me feel like my time was being wasted. ( )
  thatotter | Feb 6, 2014 |
I just couldn't put this one down. It felt like a simple read, yet there was so much power in each of Julia's observations & realizations. The brevity of the writing truly reflects what I found to be two impactful discoveries of Julia's: 1."Sometimes the saddest stories take the fewest words." & 2. When faced with the choice of what words to leave behind that would most likely survive their time on earth, she & Seth settled on "the truest, simplest things" they knew. I felt as though I were experiencing the same uncertainty, confusion & dread that would arise in any similar situation involving sudden & drastic changes to the earth ( )
  PiperUp | Jan 29, 2014 |
This is a book about the end of the world, and a book about sixth grade, and its achievement is that it interweaves these subjects so tightly that it is hard to tell which is which. Scientists have announced that the revolution of the Earth has begun to slow by several minutes per day. Days and nights are stretched; crops and birds and the Earth's magnetic field are affected; people become divided between those who follow the government's agreement to keep to the 24-hour clock, and those "real timers" who follow the sun. But for sensitive 11-year-old Julia, this is just a melancholy backdrop for the pain and frustration of everyday not-quite-fitting-in preteen life. Julia and her family carry on despite the uncertainty; friends and neighbors come and go, as does a cute skateboarding crush. The book is sad, without being a tear-jerker: Both Earth's ecosystem and Julia's fall apart matter-of-factly in the aftermath of "the slowing," and the result is haunting and contemplative. ( )
  SLWert | Jan 2, 2014 |
I loved this book. ( )
  azrowan | Jan 1, 2014 |
The premise of this dystopian novel seems promising: one day the earth's rotation begins to slow and as it slows, everything from climate, to agriculture, to gravity, to whale populations are effected. The novel focuses on a teenage girl, Julia, and her parents as they struggle to adapt to the unimaginable. As conditions worsen, Julia's parents are forced to face cracks in their marriage that become too large to ignore. At the same time, Julia is dealing with her first teen romance, which may also be her last.

Despite my interest in the effects of the slowing, the novel didn't work for me. It read like a young adult novel, although it's not being publicized as such. Julia's coming of age angst didn't resonate with me, and running her parent's marriage through her teenage eyes deprived their relationship of deeper analysis. The writing was, to me, mediocre. I don't think I was a good match for this book, given my personal interests and tastes, and I know others have enjoyed it more. ( )
  labfs39 | Dec 27, 2013 |
Julia is 11 years old when the rotation of the earth starts slowing down. "The slowing", as it is soon called, steadily increases the lengths of the days and nights and has a profound effect on the living creatures and plants on the earth. As the days grow longer, citizens are encouraged to continue to follow "clock time" rather than to pace their days with the sun, which causes some people to reject "clock time" altogether, and to attempt to live their lives by adapting their circadian rhythms to the ever changing days and nights. This story is told from Julia's perspective and is not only about the effects of the slowing, but also about her family and friends, her coming of age, and her budding romantic relationship with a boy at school. Although this novel is dystopian and disturbing, it is also hopeful and lovely. I was very surprised by how much I lenjoyed this novel. It was enthralling and moving. Probably one of the best books I've read all year. I highly recommend it! ( )
  voracious | Dec 27, 2013 |
Like Margaret Atwood's "Cat's Eye" meets Cormac McCarthy "The Road." We'll worth reading, beautiful, concise, powerful language. ( )
  binh-jules | Nov 28, 2013 |
The main character, Julia was easy to relate to. I enjoyed this story about an ordinary middle school student living in unusual times.
  RKoletteL | Oct 13, 2013 |
I almost gave this book two stars because I didn't think the story was told very well,(even though the idea she writes about is fascinating) and I didn't like ANY of the characters. However, I cried and cried at the end, so I decided to bump it up to three stars. ( )
  lisan. | Oct 4, 2013 |
A Time Stealer

Since I first saw the 1971 apocalyptic film “The Omega Man” starring Charlton Heston, I’ve been fascinated with the end of the world. How many times can you read about the world ending and still find it interesting? It’s endless because the books are never really about the end of the world but about the characters and their struggles with their new lives.

In “The Age of Miracles”, first time author Karen Thomas Walker tells her apocalyptic vision through the reminiscences of an adult Julia, who as an introverted, only child of eleven, experiences the events of the world which became known as The Slowing. With little warning, the earth’s rotation slows causing, initially, only a few extra minutes in the day and some mild concern.

But as The Slowing continues and the days and nights become increasingly longer, the entire population begins to realise that they will need to alter their lifestyle. Midnight can be in full sun and dawn doesn’t necessarily arrive early in the morning. Decisions must be made as to whether the population sticks to clock time or lives according to the cycle of daylight and darkness.

The scientific facts and worsening health of the entire planet is a backdrop to the central story of Julia coming of age. Julia’s parents seem to be growing as far apart as the day and night. Seth, a class mate, for whom Julia has increasingly strong feelings, doesn’t know she exists. Even her best friend has deserted her and moved with her family to Colorado.

What is most interesting is the layering of the story with the politics of school life, the principles of family and the broader divide in society as each new day dawns a little different from the one before. When uncertainty is certain, some will abandon their current lives and others will make a stand.

Susan Beth Pfeffer stole a weekend from me when I read her YA novel ‘Life As We Knew It’ with a similar premise and a young protagonist. So, too, now Walker steals another weekend. But there is no better way to lose time than watching the world end in the hands of a stunning debut talent like Karen Thomas Walker.

Visit http://anadventureinreading.blogspot.com.au/ for more reviews & author interviews. ( )
  SusanMayWriter | Oct 1, 2013 |
Lackluster ending to an otherwise interesting book. ( )
1 vote tealightful | Sep 24, 2013 |
This is a very interesting little novel let down a rather poor ending. It's beautifully written and remarkably focused. It could very easily have drifted off, like every other doomsday book out there, and focused on the terrors that face us, come our inevitable annihilation but you know what? This book didn't do that. It is not a novel about the big things. It's much quieter and more intimate than that.

Full review here ( )
1 vote ElaineRuss | Sep 23, 2013 |
I want to say that I loved this book, but I didn't. It's good. It's not overly grim for the topic; but it is lacking some appeal. My biggest issue with the book is the weird mix of 6th grade kid to adult psyche. The book is written from an adult perspective (like a memoir rather than a diary); but the author confuses thing by throwing in grade school emotions or ideas. Having read several post-catastrophe books this year, I can say this is not the best I have read. ( )
  lesmel | Sep 23, 2013 |
The focus of this book was on relationships, character development, and the growing pains of life, rather than on the supernatural elements. So this book should be categorized pretty much as contemporary fiction rather than science fiction. I really enjoyed the "coming of age" aspects of story, which was done very nicely and made me reflect on aspects of my own childhood and of growing up. However, I just wish there were a bit more explanation and depth on the scientific idea of days growing longer and longer, but no answers were provided. ( )
  jacquiemak | Sep 22, 2013 |
This book has a lot going for it. A nice little story built around the calamity of the Earth's rotation slowing. As I read on I began asking myself questions like, "If it's like this in Sand Diego, what's it like elsewhere?", "What are the seasons like now, and for that matter what's it like at the poles and equator?", and "Doesn't everything seem to be a lot less disastrous than they'd really be?"

At first the questions didn't bother me, but then suddenly they began to. Why did the cold never seem to be a problem when it was nighttime for more than 72 hours? There was mention of parkas and snow was thrown present in a novel sort of way. It seemed like the holes were developing the more these questions popped into my head. If only I could find some way to stop them.

Then even more suddenly I hit page 255 and came across a sentence that began, "It was a clear black night..." Was KTW invoking Warren G's Regulate on the page. The presence of these words stopped me from moving on for a solid minute or two. Don't know what I'm talking about? Watch the first 30 seconds of this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1plPyJdXKIY

I am hoping this will be the only time in my life that I invoke Warren G in a book review. Overall, and in spite of my questions I still enjoyed the book ok (the two star rating is defined as "It was OK"). ( )
  dtn620 | Sep 22, 2013 |
When the earth starts to turn progressively more slowly, the consequences are far reaching.

This is an intriguing premise and is well developed throughout with a slow revelation of the myriad of complications the world faces, along with the various responses people adopt. Against this setting is a great coming of age story. Any number of scientific principles are touched on within the plot but they are covered in a manner appropriate for a young adult audience, but there's enough complexity to entertain adult readers too. And for those with a some scientific knowledge The Age Of Miracles is thought provoking. Recommended. ( )
  SouthernKiwi | Sep 22, 2013 |
Showing 1-25 of 222 (next | show all)

Quick Links

Swap Ebooks Audio
1 avail.
1229 wanted
6 pay3 pay

Popular covers

Rating

Average: (3.68)
0.5
1 10
1.5 2
2 47
2.5 20
3 165
3.5 74
4 272
4.5 41
5 106

LibraryThing Early Reviewers Alumn

The Age of Miracles by Karen Thompson Walker was made available through LibraryThing Early Reviewers. Sign up to possibly get pre-publication copies of books.

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.

 

Help/FAQs | About | Privacy/Terms | Blog | Contact | LibraryThing.com | APIs | WikiThing | Common Knowledge | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | 89,481,546 books! | Top bar: Always visible