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The Age of Miracles

by Karen Thompson Walker

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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2,9543103,449 (3.67)183
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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English (308)  Portuguese (Portugal) (1)  Dutch (1)  Hungarian (1)  German (1)  All languages (312)
Showing 1-5 of 308 (next | show all)
This book was a combination coming-of-age tale and post-apocalyptic story. Our main character, Julia, is 11 when the book starts, and she tells the story of the slowing of Earth as part of her own story of friends, ex-friends, cute boys, and the politics of middle school. I felt for Julia, and was reminded of how horrible middle school can be. Add the end of the world as you know it to the mix, and it becomes that much more poignant.

I enjoy post-apocalyptic stories, especially when we're there at the beginning of the disaster. It always makes me think about what I would do in that situation, and if the science seems accurate.

It reminds me very much of Life As We Knew It, though not as catastrophic. ( )
  ssperson | Apr 3, 2021 |
This book would be a lot better if there wasn't so much rambling by the sixth grade student who experiences the world off it's axis as day becomes night and night grows longer and longer.

People long for normalcy, and are perplexed and worried that as the time changes, there are more car accidents, more people are exceedingly disoriented.

There are splinter groups who refuse to listen to the government ruling how they should change their clocks. These people become ostracized, some move away, some are punished for not following the new rules.

The premise was interesting, but the writing was too disjointed. ( )
  Whisper1 | Jan 4, 2021 |
So sad and a little anxiety producing, the gradual loss of all the things we take for granted. ( )
  naoph | Jan 1, 2021 |
I've seen a lot of praise and recommendations for this book, so when I downloaded an e-book copy from my library, I was pretty excited to get started on what I had heard was a great YA sci-fi novel. The impetus of the novel is that the earth gradually and inexplicably begins to slow its rotation on its axis, with days and nights becoming longer. The impacts of this are told from the perspective of a middle schooler named Julia, who as a narrator, is somewhat limited in addressing the scientific and widespread social impacts. These limitations left me with more questions than answers, and the swift wrap-up at the end of the novel made me feel like the author wanted to leave it open for a sequel, but the publisher or editor insisted on having closure. ( )
  resoundingjoy | Jan 1, 2021 |
Very well-written, not too flowery but perfect descriptions and realistic dialogue. I loved this coming-of-age story in the midst of global change/disaster. It was the perfect backdrop for the move out of adolescence. Poignant and lovely. ( )
  JustZelma | Dec 20, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 308 (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
Rankin, EmilyNarratorsecondary 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...
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
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Wikipedia in English (2)

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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Book description
(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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