Paperback Published: January 15, 2013
Source: Personal Copy / Book Club Selection (October 2013)
On an ordinary Saturday in a California suburb, Julia awakes to discover that something has happened to the rotation of the earth. The days and nights are growing longer and longer; gravity is affected; the birds, the tides, human behavior, and cosmic rhythms are thrown into disarray. In a world that seems filled with danger and loss, Julia also must face surprising developments in herself, and in her personal world—divisions widening between her parents, strange behavior by her friends, the pain and vulnerability of first love, a growing sense of isolation, and a surprising, rebellious new strength. With crystalline prose and the indelible magic of a born storyteller, Karen Thompson Walker gives us a breathtaking portrait of people finding ways to go on in an ever-evolving world.
This is not a book I would have picked out for myself--if it weren't for my book club, The Age of Miracles would have stayed off my radar. But that is one of the upsides of a book club--they introduce readers to books they would normally never read.
The Age of Miracles is a very unsettling book. The plot is certainly imaginative, although my engineer husband insists that what I described from this book is not an accurate representation of what would happen if the Earth's rotation suddenly slowed. Whatever--if you are a Science person, keep that in mind. If you aren't a Science person, don't worry about it.
That being said, there is quite a bit that is incredibly realistic in this book. Julia is as true a representation of a tween that I've seen in a long time. She battles with her own self-esteem, her friendships and even her first love. She watches as her parents' relationship morphs and how her society is slowly torn apart by the "slowing." The Earth's rotation slowing may seem to be a far-fetched idea, but the reaction of society to something unknown and threatening is very, very common.
I could not put this book down. I won't say it was a "fun" book to read, but it was definitely enthralling. While I would highly recommend this book, I would caution prospective readers that they are in for something that just might shake them to the core.
I was not solicited for this review and I received no compensation. All opinions are mine and mine alone.