Title: Age of Miracles
Author: Karen Thompson Walker
Category/Genre: Apocalyptic, Sci-Fi, Fiction, YA
See it at Goodreads
“It’s never the disasters you see coming that finally come to pass—it’s the ones you don’t expect at all,” says Julia, in this spellbinding novel of catastrophe and survival by a superb new writer. Luminous, suspenseful, unforgettable, The Age of Miracles tells the haunting and beautiful story of Julia and her family as they struggle to live in a time of extraordinary change.
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.
Age of Miracles probably would have never happened for me if it hadn’t been for Kara’s recommendation of it-- I mean, she insisted on this title until I found myself putting it on my wish list and then before I knew it, she’d gifted it to me (I believe if I remember correctly it was for my birthday or Christmas in 2013). But you know how most of us are… we can get some of our most-wished books and they can still end up sitting on our shelves for months due to books and books stacking up to be read.
Well, I finally sat down and picked it up. And I’m so so so so glad I did. (I’m sorry I let it sit on the shelf collecting dust for so long though.)
This may sound a bit funny to you, but I’m practically prepared for an apocalyptic situation. Whether it’s zombies, heavy war fall-out, environmental, or whatever. If I should find our world in a crumbling state that required us to shut down, close up and be stocked up to last a while, I can nearly safely say my home would be ready depending on the situation and timeframe. Probably not anything as far as going into some bunker, but enough to lock down and be stocked up.
But that’s the problem. Someone isn’t ready for just everything, right? Especially something as sudden and drastic as the rotation of the earth slowing, changing the gravity, affecting so much else like hours, environment, tides, weather, and more. Who could really expect something like that? After all the years of global warming research or years of dealing with tensions of war or even years of strange experimental science? It was a complete blindside!
And this is where Age of Miracles picks up. Julia, a young eleven-year-old girl, growing into her adolescence and a curious mind, tells the strange story of this phenomena that Karen Thompson Walker weaves for the reader. Making sure not to leave out any details. Julia even includes the sad deaths of the falling birds-- because the gravity is different after the slowing of the earth as she tries to explain-- and the odd illnesses that people get, and I sympathize with her worries and her deep sense of only wanting to help anything and everyone she can try. I also get a sense of motherly protectiveness when she begins her first crush, and has other experiences that crush me (I don’t want to go into too many details afraid of spoilers) and relatable experiences as a growing pre-teen. I liked that Walker tried portray to Julia’s growth and life moving forward despite the current Armageddon.
Age of Miracles was one of the last reads I finished before 2014 ended. I’m glad I ended the year off on such a good note with this fantastic book. A tragically sad one, but beautiful. The way it ended openly, leaving the reader with many questions and thoughts still left me satisfied because it leaves you to your own conclusions. I highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys end-of-the-world type reads, fiction, family drama, teen drama, contemporary, or surrealism.
Speaking of end-of-year reads: This may very well be my last review for The Bookaholic unless I guest post for Taylor from time to time. I’m making my final move to blog over at Great Imaginations and I hope to see you all there as well. You can still contact me at the provided places in the contact section if needed or find me on Twitter or Goodreads. The Bookaholic has been up for four wonderful years. I’ve been blogging for four wonderful years. I can only hope to continue doing fantastic things for many more.
Thank you everyone for the continued support. <3 <3