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“A stunner.”—Justin Cronin
“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.
“Gripping drama . . . flawlessly written; it could be the most assured debut by an American writer since Jennifer Egan’s Emerald City.”—The Denver Post
“Pure magnificence.”—Nathan Englander
“Provides solace with its wisdom, compassion, and elegance.”—Curtis Sittenfeld
“Riveting, heartbreaking, profoundly moving.”—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
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In this gripping debut, 11-year-old Julia wakes one day to the news that the earth's rotation has started slowing. The immediate effects no one at soccer practice; relentless broadcasts of the same bewildered scientists soon feel banal compared to what unfolds. "The slowing" is growing slower still, and soon both day and night are more than twice as long as they once were. When governments decide to stick to the 24-hour schedule (ignoring circadian rhythms), a subversive movement erupts, "real-timers" who disregard the clock and appear to be weathering the slowing better than clock-timers at first. Thompson's Julia is the perfect narrator. On the brink of adolescence, she's as concerned with buying her first bra as with the birds falling out of the sky. She wants to be popular as badly as she wants her world to remain familiar. While the apocalypse looms large has in fact already arrived the narrative remains fiercely grounded in the surreal and horrifying day-to-day and the personal decisions that persist even though no one knows what to do. A triumph of vision, language, and terrifying momentum, the story also feels eerily plausible, as if the problems we've been worrying about all along pale in comparison to what might actually bring our end.
Customer ReviewsSee All
Nice summer read
Pre-ordered and started reading at one minute after midnight the night it came out. It is an original. Has sifi backdrop but really about young person growing up in a time of uncertainty and experiencing all the confusing feelings of adolescence. It moves at a nice pace, lots of character development. It was a book I wanted to read every chance I had, real page turner. Nice summer beach book for teens and adults.
age of miracles
I read this book many years ago and just reread it. Pretty sad in places but worth the time. A coming of age story set against the slowing down of the earths rotation. Eventually, with 2 weeks of daylight then 2 weeks of darkness, you wonder how man can survive. It is never explained why the earths rotation slows, a perpetual backdrop of gloom. But I did enjoy it the 2nd time around.
Sad sad sad
With constant ominous foreshadowing, there is not a single ray of hope in this futuristic tragedy. With so much darkness in the world today, do we really need books like this. Even though the two youthful main characters are optimistic about their uncertain future, the story is unforgiving. There is no climax, just the steady beat of life that will only worsen with each increasingly long day.
Can't think of one redeeming quality within its pages. The book's description does not accurately prepare the reader for what lies within its cover. Pass this one by and choose instead to read something less terminally sad.