I had really, really high hopes for this book, and maybe that was the problem. I love dystopian fiction, I really do, and this had such a cool premise - the earth's rotation is slowing down. Longer days and longer nights, how do we as a society function with our days and nights all mixed up? Julia is 10 when all this begins to happen - a tough age in the best of circumstances - and we see her trying to live a "normal" life in an abnormal world. I found myself not caring very much about the characters and whether or not they would survive this slow apocalypse.
Best Books of the Month, June 2012: In The Age of Miracles,
the world is ending not with a bang so much as a long, drawn-out whimper. And it
turns out the whimper can be a lot harder to cope with. The Earth's rotation
slows, gradually stretching out days and nights and subtly affecting the
planet's gravity. The looming apocalypse parallels the adolescent struggles of
10-year-old Julia, as her comfortable suburban life succumbs to a sort of
domestic deterioration. Julia confronts her parents' faltering marriage,
illness, the death of a loved one, her first love, and her first heartbreak.
Karen Thompson Walker is a gifted storyteller. Her language is precise and
poetic, but style never overpowers the realism she imbues to her characters and
the slowing Earth they inhabit. Most impressively, Thompson Walker has written a
coming-of-age tale that asks whether it's worth coming of age at all in a world
that might end at any minute. Like the best stories about the end of the world,
The Age of Miracles is about the existence of hope and whether it can
prevail in the face of uncertainty. --Kevin Nguyen