Another thing to worry about- “The Age of Miracles” by Karen Thompson Walker

October 16, 2012 at 11:40 pm 2 comments

“The Age of Miracles” by Karen Thompson Walker, Published in 2012 

This novel has a scary premise that seemed all too real.  And the last line of this novel was like a punch to the gut and left me painfully sad…all in a good way.

The novel is narrated by Julia, an eleven year old about to turn twelve. She is an only child living with her parents in California.  Walker takes all of Julia pre-pubescent struggles in a seemingly ordinary cookie-cutter neighborhood and throws in the added element that the Earth’s daily revolution has begun to slow. Periods of daylight are beginning to expand, night is no longer defined by darkness, birds can no longer navigate, whales are beaching themselves, and all of the crops are dying.  As the days grow longer, the governments around the world agree that citizens should stick to the 24 hour clock. Very quickly the world becomes split between those who adhere to the government’s decision and the “real timers” – those who will stay awake with the sun.  Of course this split leads to new form of discrimination and violence.  Meanwhile, people begin hoarding canned goods, building greenhouses, and investing in padlocks and guns.  Cult compounds arise and suicide pacts become a frequent occurrence. It is has become a world where with all of the miracles we can perform medically and scientifically we cannot conjure up the most important miracle of all, saving ourselves.

Amidst all of this, Julia is dealing with her parents’ failing marriage, her mother’s over-dramatic tendencies, and grasping that perhaps her father’s seemingly infalliable character is not what is appears. She struggles with all of the things that the reader will remember from their own childhood – losing a best friend to the popular crowd, lonely school lunches, awkward clothing choices, and of course, falling in love for the first time.

Walker’s narrator is well-chosen, Julia is relatable. We recognize her in ourselves. This makes the things happening in the environment even more believable and extremely frightening.  Walker’s writing is straight-forward in a refreshing way. She is able to place the reader in that awkward place of childhood, where you know too much but perhaps don’t truly understand everything.    And using Julia’s naivete, the author is able to remind us all that everything, absolutely everything, even a child’s innocence and the Earth itself, is temporary.

The Age of Miracles

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Entry filed under: October 2012 reads. Tags: , , .

Come and play with us forever and ever – “The Night Strangers” by Chris Bohjalian Let us hope we are all proceded in this world by a love story* -“The Winter Sea” and “The Violets of March”

2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Kimberly Novosel  |  October 17, 2012 at 8:56 am

    Great review – informative and interesting! Well done. 🙂

    Thank you for the shout out!!

    Reply
    • 2. Emily C  |  October 17, 2012 at 10:33 pm

      Thank you for reading my review. Yours was great!

      Reply

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There is some great literature out there, but there is a lot of bad literature as well. We shouldn't all have to read it. These are my recommendations and thoughts about the books I read.

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